Links 09/10/2022: KDE Frameworks 5.99.0 and PeaZip 8.9.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Made SimpleLinux Weekly Roundup #203

      Welcome to this week’s Linux Weekly roundup. We had a good week in the world of Linux releases with NitruxOS 20221001, SparkyLinux 2022.10, KaOS 2022.10, and Redcore Linux 2201.

    • Linux LinksLinux Around The World: USA – Virginia – LinuxLinks

      We cover events and user groups that are running in the US state of Virginia. This article forms part of our Linux Around The World series.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • NeowinPeaZip 8.9.0

        PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It’s freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

      • DebugPoint5 Great Subtitle Editors in Linux Systems

        In this article, I will talk about free and open-source subtitle editors for Linux systems.

        With the advancement of technology, AI and ML, subtitle editors are not that much in demand. Because AI-ML models can generate subtitles on the fly. For example, most popular streaming platforms, such as YouTube, can automatically auto-generated subtitles on LIVE or recorded media.

        There are few subtitle editors in the Linux world; those are available, for some of the development is already stopped (e.g. Aegisub) and become obsolete.

        Here are some of the subtitle editors for Linux systems – that are still in use.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • uni TorontoThe Maildir mail storage format doesn’t seem to work well over NFS

        There’s a relatively widespread view that the Maildir mail storage format is the solution to any issue that one is having with traditional mail message storage. In general I feel that Maildir only solves some problems and makes others worse (although that entry was written in the days of HDDs with very limited IOPS). In our specific environment, we’ve found that Maildir over NFS to our fileservers is actually pretty terrible once you have a large Maildir folder, one with thousands of messages.

        Our IMAP server is Dovecot, which normally automatically supports Maildir format folders if you set one up. Our default folder format is old fashioned mbox format folders (with all messages in one file) and most of our users follow that. However, we have had a very few users who set up Maildir format folders, which are stored in their home directory on one of our NFS fileservers, and then put thousands of messages in those Maildir folders. The observed result on our IMAP server is that them looking at this folder tanked the performance of their mail session and could affect the entire machine’s performance.

        In this problem’s most recent incarnation, this was not because of limited IOPS from HDDs; by that point all of our fileservers were using local SSDs, and mirrored at that. ZFS uses non-linear directories, so directory lookup in large directories shouldn’t be a problem and anyway our fileservers have lots of memory and high cache hit rates (and even 10,000 files in a directory isn’t large by modern standards). We tried a number of things and investigated in a number of areas, but as near as we could guess, the problem may well be the sheer number of NFS operations that are required to scan a directory and look at things in it. Dovecot normally maintains indexes of folders that mean it doesn’t have to touch the folder itself, but maybe it doesn’t index Maildir folders or maybe the index was frequently being invalidated for some reason.

      • Data SwampA NixOS kiosk

        A kiosk, in the sysadmin jargon, is a computer that is restricted to a single program so anyone can use it for the sole provided purpose. You may have seen kiosk computers here and there, often wrapped in some kind of box with just a touch screen available. ATM are kiosks, most screens showing some information are also kiosks.

      • Data SwampSolene’% : Extending fail2ban on NixOS

        Fail2ban is a wonderful piece of software, it can analyze logs from daemons and ban them in the firewall. It’s triggered by certain conditions like a single IP found in too many lines matching a pattern (such as a login failure) under a certain time.

      • Make Use OfHow to Install a New Package Manager in Linux

        A package manager is essential for managing and maintaining software on your Linux system. Each Linux distribution ships with a package manager by default. Ubuntu comes with the APT package manager, Arch-based distros have Pacman, and so on.

        If you wish to explore other package managers, here’s how you can install a different package manager without having to switch to a brand-new distribution.

      • UbuntubuzzHow To Install Eclipse with WindowBuilder on Ubuntu

        This tutorial will help you install Eclipse with its visual development tool Window Builder. With this, you can develop computer applications in Java programming language rapidly by drag and drop aside from writing code and produce high quality Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications. Now let’s install it!

      • ID RootHow To Install GitLab on Rocky Linux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GitLab on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, GitLab is a free git repository management tool that allows you to create and manage git repositories. With GitLab, you can host your own internal repository for a development team and allow users to host their projects.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of GitLab on Rocky Linux. 9.

      • Real Linux UserHow to download Linux Mint 21 – Updated – Real Linux User

        It seems from the beginning of time the Linux internet community is discussing, blogging, and vlogging intensively about Linux Mint, one of the most popular Linux distributions. It is extremely popular among both beginners and advanced users, who just want to get things done with their operating systems. So you want to know how to get your hands on one of the most popular, stable, and user-friendly Linux distributions? In this article, which is the start of a complete refresh of all my previous Linux Mint 18 based articles, you will learn how to download the most recent Linux Mint 21. In this article, you will learn how to download Linux Mint 21, so you can create a Linux Mint 21 Live USB stick to try it out in a live environment, or just install it right away.

      • How to Unzip a .gz File on Linux (Any distro)

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to unzip a .gz file on Linux. These instructions will work on any Linux distro, even on a Mac.

        We previously wrote about how to zip files on Linux, so now we’re going to show you how to unzip a GZ file.

      • CitizixHow to install Java 17 On Rocky/Alma Linux 9

        In this guide we are going to explore how to install Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Developer Kit (JDK) in Rocky Linux 9. This guide also works for any RHEL 9 based systems. Java and the JVM (Java’s virtual machine) are required for many kinds of software, including Tomcat, Jetty, Glassfish, Cassandra and Jenkins.

      • Deploy OpenStack using DevStack on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04 – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to deploy OpenStack using DevStack on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Sergio Talens-Oliag: Shared networking for Virtual Machines and Containers

        This entry explains how I have configured a linux bridge, dnsmasq and iptables to be able to run and communicate different virtualization systems and containers on laptops running Debian GNU/Linux.

      • Make Use OfHow to Use the head and tail Commands for Text Processing on Linux

        There are many Linux commands and tools used to process text files. But there are times when you do not want to read the whole content of a file, but rather a specific part of it. Do you know that you can use the head and tail commands on Linux to output the beginnings and ends of a file respectively?

        Read on to discover how you can use these two commands to effectively process and manipulate text on Linux.

      • Ubuntu HandbookHow to Enable & Configure Hot-Corners in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to enable and customize hot-corner actions in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS with default GNOME desktop.

        Your system can do a custom action, when moving mouse corner to hit one of the 4 (top-left, top-right, bottom-left, and bottom-right) screen edges. That’s hot-corners function.

        By default, the top-left hot-corner is enabled for triggering the overview screen. You can however enable all the 4 corners and specify custom actions via an extension in all GNOME based Linux.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • 9to5LinuxKDE Frameworks 5.99 Brings More Plasma Wayland Improvements, Better Qt 6 Support

          KDE Frameworks 5.99 brings various user interface improvements like the ability to zoom in and out or clear the password field using the Ctrl+Alt+U keyboard shortcut on the lock screen of your mobile device, fade in/out effects for tooltips throughout the KDE Plasma and QtQuick-based apps when they appear and disappear, as well as better looking accent colors when using the “Accent color from wallpaper” feature.

        • KDE Ships Frameworks 5.99.0 – KDE Community

          KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.99.0.

          KDE Frameworks are 83 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks release announcement.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Gentoo Family

      • LinuxiacGentoo-Based Redcore Linux 2201 Released with Plasma 5.25

        Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, KDE Plasma 5.25.5, and an updated package base are some new features in Redcore Linux’s latest release.

        Some Linux distributions, such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Arch, enjoy a massive number of derivatives. Not so with Gentoo, another major Linux distribution. And, given the complexities involved, this is understandable. But, of course, there are exceptions. Redcore Linux is one of them.

        It is a desktop-oriented Gentoo-based distribution that aims to bring the power of Gentoo Linux to the masses through simple installation and system management software.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • OMG UbuntuTool to Integrate AppImages with Ubuntu Desktop

        AppImage is a popular way for software developers to package and distribute their app to Linux users, regardless of their specific distro choices.

        Portability is the real appeal; AppImages contain everything they need to run, in a single executable, they’re a simple, straightforward way to run software. You download an .AppImage file, go to the folder you download it to, give it permission to run, and double-click on it to open.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • VirtualizationIoT/Edge Dev Survey Shows AI, Container and Linux Popularity [Ed: Microsoft site, so a little biased.]

        For the eighth year, the Eclipse Foundation has surveyed Internet of Things (IoT) and edge developers, finding that when it comes to workloads, artifacts and OS choices, artificial intelligence (AI), containers and Linux all rank highly.

        While those findings are similar to the 2021 report, the 2022 report shows the popularity of all those increased year over year when measured by the percentage of respondents who listed them.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • CNX Software$10 HDMI to USB 3.2 video acquisition board is based on MS2130 chip

        We’ve just written about an open-source hardware Allwinner V851S camera board from YuzukiHD, but he/she has made another interesting board with the YuzukiLOHCC PRO HDMI to USB 3.2 video acquisition board based on MacroSilicon MS2130 HDMI to USB chip, as well as MS9332 one-to-two active splitter, and MS8003/MS8005 microcontroller.

        YuzukiLOHCC PRO stands for Yuzuki Loop Out HDMI Capture Card PRO, and there are two HDMI ports, one for input and one for output, as well as a USB Type-C port to connect to the host and capture the video input.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

      • Emmanuel Kasper: Markdown CMS or Wiki for smallish website – formicapunk

        Following my markdown craze, I am slowly starting to move my Dokuwiki based homesite to Grav, a flat file Markdown CMS.

        PHP will be always be PHP, but the documentation and usage seem sound (all config is either via an admin panel or editing YAML files) and it has professional support. I intend to use this Debian based Dockerfile and Podman to deploy Grav.

    • Programming/Development

      • Jim NielsenRemix, React, and State

        Whenever a piece of state changes, React reconciles the old state with the new state and figures out where in the component tree it needs to re-render UI elements.

        What that means — and what might not always be immediately obvious — is that if you don’t store and modify your application’s state in React, then React won’t be of much use to you. React needs state to be useful.

        React state, however, is ephemeral: it lives and dies with the browser tab unless you persist it somewhere. That means it’s up to you to keep React state in sync with your application’s data, i.e. the source of truth.

        To reframe Josh’s statement: React’s main job is to keep its state in sync with your application’s user interface but not your application itself. That’s up to you.

      • Trail Of BitsSecure your machine learning with Semgrep | Trail of Bits Blog

        Picture this: You’ve spent months curating images, trying out different architectures, downloading pretrained models, messing with Kubernetes, and you’re finally ready to ship your sparkling new machine learning (ML) product. And then you get the (hopefully not dreaded) question: What security measures have you put into place?

        Maybe you’ve already applied tools like Counterfit and PrivacyRaven to test your model against model extraction and model inversion, but that shouldn’t be the end. You’re not just building a model; you’re building a pipeline. And the crux of your pipeline is the source code. ML models cannot be treated as standalone objects. Their creators must account for every element of the pipeline, from preprocessing procedures to the underlying hardware.

        Semgrep is a powerful static analysis tool that enables users to search for potentially problematic code patterns at scale. Previously, we released several Semgrep rules to find goroutine leaks that are included in our public set of Semgrep rules. To strengthen the ML ecosystem, we’ve analyzed the source code of many ML libraries and identified some common problematic patterns. Instead of relying on developers to thoroughly examine the source code or documentation of each library they use, we decided to turn these patterns into Semgrep rules to make it easy to find and fix potential vulnerabilities.

      • Understanding leaf node numbers when using rpart and rpart.rules | Statistical Odds – Ends

        I recently ran into an issue with matching rules from a decision tree (output of rpart.plot::rpart.rules()) with leaf node numbers from the tree object itself (output of rpart::rpart()). This post explains the issue and how to solve it.

      • Probabilistic Photograph Manipulation with ggplot2 and imager — Mark H. White II, PhD

        I started taking photos earlier this year. And as someone who loves thinking about probability, statistics, chance, randomness, and R programming, I started thinking about ways to apply probabilistic programming to photography. This is my first attempt.

        I’m going to be using one shot I particularly like. It’s a tower on 47th between Wyandotte and Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri—as seen from the parking garage roof above The Cheesecake Factory:

      • Matt RickardPerceptual Hashing

        Hashing algorithms map data to an arbitrary fixed-size value. Most hashing algorithms actively try to avoid collisions – e.g., minimizing the probability of two different keys having the same hash. Perceptual hashes do the opposite – they maximize collisions by creating some dimension of data locality – similar keys have similar hashes.

      • Barry Kaulerlibsdl2 version bump in OE

        EasyOS has libsdl2 version 2.0.12, but I was looking at a project that requires 2.0.18 or greater. So, I have compiled 2.0.20 in OpenEmbedded.

      • EarthlyHow to Build A Real-Time Communication Application with Django-Channels and The WebSocket Protocol

        In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to build a real-time communication application with The Django Channels package and The WebSocket Protocol. The application we will create will be a platform where users can join multiple pre-created groups and share ideas with members of the group.

      • Handling Empty Paragraphs from R Markdown

        From time to time I find empty paragraph tags (

        ) inserted into my HTML when knitting an R Markdown document.

        Beyond being an affront to my OCD, these empty tags are mostly just an irritation. But if I’m trying to produce a very specific layout, then the extra space allocated to them can become a real annoyance.

      • HarshvardhanA Gentle Introduction to using Support Vector Machines for Classification | Harshvardhan

        Support vector machines (SVM) are remarkable for the unification of geometric theory, elegant mathematics, theoretical guarantees with strong practical use cases. In this blog post, I demonstrate certain properties of SVM and how to use them with caret package in R.

      • Python

        • Team Collaboration in R and Python Made Easy – RStudio

          Bilingual teams that want to do serious data science require collaboration, transparency, and reproducibility across R and Python workflows while empowering professionals to work in their preferred language(s). Accomplishing this requires tools built for interoperability at scale and a shared standard between data science languages.

        • Didier StevensUpdate: rtfdump.py Version 0.0.11

          This new version of rtfdump, my tool to analyze RTF files, brings json output for options -O and -F.

      • C

        • JCSVideo: C Programming on System 6 – VCF Midwest, Wikipedia Reader, and Subterm

          I attended the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 17 and wrote two new programs.

        • Linux HintMacros in C

          “As you know that C is quite a diverse general-purpose language and came up with many different structures. The Macros in C language come in handy when swapping your large code with a single piece of line code to avoid complexity and more. The macros can be utilized in the C codes using the “#define” keyword. Although macros have many types, we will demonstrate the use of object-like macros and function-like macros in this article. Let’s have a fresh start on this guide by updating it in the shell by the “update” query shown in the attached image. Provide this query with your Linux password to continue the processing.”

        • Linux HintFork System Call in C

          “The basic purpose of the fork command method is to create one or more child processes; the newly created child processes run concurrently with the parent process that created these child processes using fork statements. The next statement that is followed by the fork command will be executed by both child and parent processes simultaneously. The same CPU registers, the program counter (PC), and open files that the parent process accesses are used by the child process. The fork command doesn’t take any parameter as input, but it returns an integer value by using which we can easily identify whether either fork command created the child process successfully or not.”

        • Linux HintCalloc in C

          “The utilization and assignment of memory or space in a system are said to be the most important thing in any programming script when you have a lot of data in the form of variables and arrays. The C language is very dynamic when it comes to allocating memory as it contains many memory-specific functions in it. One of those functions is calloc(). Contiguous allocation is another name for the “calloc”. This C language method allocates dynamic memory for a certain type. This technique is used to dynamically allocate the desired number of memory blocks of a particular type.”

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Jonathan Dowland: Focus writing with (despite) LaTeX

        LaTeX — the age-old typesetting system — makes me angry. Not because it’s bad. To clarify, not because there’s something better. But because there should be.

        When writing a document using LaTeX, if you are prone to procrastination it can be very difficult to focus on the task at hand, because there are so many yaks to shave. Here’s a few points of advice.


        In a nutshell, I think it’s wise to move much document reviewing work back into the editor rather than the rendered document, at least in the early stages of a section. And to do that, you need the document to be as legible as possible in the editor. The important stuff is the text you write, not the TeX macros you’ve sprinkled around to format it.

      • Manuel Matuzovic100 Days Of More Or Less Modern CSS – Manuel Matuzović

        It’s time to get me up on speed with modern CSS. There’s so much new in CSS that I know too little about. To change that I’ve started #100DaysOfMoreOrLessModernCSS. Why more or less modern CSS? Because some topics will be about cutting-edge features, while other stuff has been around for quite a while already, but I just have little to no experience with it.

  • Leftovers

    • Bryan LundukeHands on with 1998′s Rhapsody DR2 (the precursor to MacOS X)

      Before “MacOS X” became known “MacOS X”… it was known as “Rhapsody: an OpenStep / NeXTStep based operating system which was being released as “Developer Releases” for both PowerPC and x86 (read: Pentium) computers.

      On May 14th, 1998, Apple Computer, inc. released “Rhapsody Developer Release 2”… what would turn out to be the last version of Rhapsody to run on x86 hardware. From this point onward, Rhapsody would become known as “MacOS X” (with the first release known as “MacOS X Server 1.0”) and would become “PowerPC” only for the next several years.

    • Ali Reza HayatiEverybody is a genius

      Everybody is a genius in their own way but it’s the injustices imposed on people that make it look different.

      Let’s create an imaginary jungle. We have a lot of different animals in the jungle. We have monkeys, we have tigers, elephants, lions, fishes, penguins, etc.

      All those animals have unique abilities and all of them are genius in their own way. The problem is that we want to enforce equality in a wrong way. If we measure the genius of animals but asking for one exam, say climbing a tree, then we’re giving advantage to monkeys and imposing injustice on fishes.

      The fish can’t breathe in the air. The tiger may be able to climb a tree but not as good as the monkey. The elephants are dumbest in this measure because they can breathe in the air but can’t even jump.

      This injustice makes them unequal.

      I believe the only way we can have equality is to treat everybody with justice. All animals are equal in the way we treat them and that is with justice. If we measure how genius is a fish by its ability to swim, and measure how genius is a monkey by its ability to climb a tree, and measure tigers by their ability to run, then we can have a jungle of genius animals with everyone in their designated role and responsibility.

    • Mark HansenWhere to sell items in Australia

      What we learned from selling an estate of 400+ books, games, DVDs, and electronics in Australia.


      Her goal wasn’t to make the most money, but get the items into the hands of people who will enjoy it, and out of our garage.

      We’re not big Dungeons & Dragons or retro-gaming enthusiasts, but we know of communities that really enjoy this stuff.

    • Matt RickardScreenshots as the Universal API

      With advancements in machine learning, screenshots are quickly becoming a universal data format. It’s now (relatively) easy to extract meaning (image-to-text), layout information (object recognition), text (optical character recognition, OCR), and other metadata (formatting, fonts, etc.).


      Permissionless. Many applications won’t allow you to export data. Screenshots are always available (similar to the era of web crawling).

    • Daniel AleksandersenA Sony Headphones app feature kills your phone’s battery life

      I recently bought a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones (ad: available on Amazon). Many of the headphone’s capabilities are unlocked using the Sony Headphones Connect (SHC) companion app. Unfortunately, the SHC app slashes hours off my phone’s battery life. Here’s what the app did wrong and how to rein in its energy consumption.

    • Austin Z HenleyMonthly obsessions

      I have been struggling to make progress on side projects and hobbies.

      I don’t see nearly as much progress as I’d like because I’m always prioritizing an impending deadline. If it isn’t priority zero, it usually won’t get done, which means exploratory projects will never get attention.

      Maybe I’m just bad at context switching when there isn’t a forcing function. Deadlines are great, but what about when there isn’t one?

      I’ve attempted a few strategies to circumvent this issue. I’ve tried giving myself a concrete goal with a self-imposed deadline each week. I’ve tried dedicating Fridays to side projects or learning something new. I’ve tried spending one hour each day before or after work for a hobby.

    • uni CornellFirst-of-its-kind 3D-printed home blends concrete, wood

      Pouring layers of concrete like rows of toothpaste, an industrial-sized 3D printer this week continued adding a second floor to a Houston home that will be the first multistory printed structure in the United States.

      In addition to that achievement, designers Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic, assistant professors of architecture in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) and co-principals of the HANNAH Design Office, say the two-story, single-family home is demonstrating innovative construction processes that can be scaled up to multifamily and mixed-use developments, helping to address housing shortages.

    • WiredBot Hunting Is All About the Vibes | WIRED

      At the heart of every bot-detection tool is a human’s gut feeling—and all the messiness that comes with it.


      CHRISTOPHER BOUZY IS trying to stay ahead of the bots. As the person behind Bot Sentinel, a popular bot-detection system, he and his team continuously update their machine learning models out of fear that they will get “stale.” The task? Sorting 3.2 million tweets from suspended accounts into two folders: “Bot” or “Not.”

      To detect bots, Bot Sentinel’s models must first learn what problematic behavior is through exposure to data. And by providing the model with tweets in two distinct categories—bot or not a bot—Bouzy’s model can calibrate itself and allegedly find the very essence of what, he thinks, makes a tweet problematic.

      Training data is the heart of any machine learning model. In the burgeoning field of bot detection, how bot hunters define and label tweets determines the way their systems interpret and classify bot-like behavior. According to experts, this can be more of an art than a science. “At the end of the day, it is about a vibe when you are doing the labeling,” Bouzy says. “It’s not just about the words in the tweet, context matters.”

    • Adriaan de GrootPerry’s Spel van 16 | [bobulate]

      The museum in Rotterdam was responsive on Twitter, and sent me a pretty-good photograph of the front and back of the rules sheet. I’m transcribing the rules here (in Dutch, in the original spelling) for posterity. I have tried to keep the spelling and typographical oddities.

      There’s an Android game out there called “Perry’s 16” which is vaguely similar, and if I were to describe the original game I would call it “a cross between Bingo and Skip-Bo”, which is possibly not so informative if you don’t know those games.

    • Science

      • Deep Learning Uses Stream Discharge to Estimate Watershed Subsurface Permeability | Department of Energy

        Subsurface permeability is a measure of how well liquids flow through below-ground rocks and soils. It is a key parameter that determines subsurface flow and transport processes in watersheds. However, permeability is difficult and expensive to measure directly at the scale and resolution required by watershed models. In contrast, stream flow monitoring data is widely available. The links between permeability and stream flow provide a new route to estimating subsurface permeability. In this study, scientists turned to deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence. Deep learning estimates the subsurface permeability of a watershed from stream discharge data more accurately than is possible with traditional methods. This improvement will help calibrate watershed models and reduce the uncertainty in stream discharge predictability.

      • ACMThere is Plenty of Room at The Top (of Supercomputing)

        Supercomputers are the Olympic champions of scientific computing. Through numerical simulations, they enrich our understanding of the world, be it stars lightyears away in the universe, the Earth’s weather and climate, or the functioning of the human body.

        For over four decades, Jack Dongarra has been a driving force in the field of high-performance computing. Earlier this year, Dongarra was awarded the 2021 ACM A.M. Turing Award for “his pioneering contributions to numerical algorithms and libraries that enabled high performance computational software to keep pace with exponential hardware improvements for over four decades.”

        Writer Bennie Mols met with Dongarra during the 9th Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany in September to talk about the present and future of high-performance computing. Dongarra, now 72, has been a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee (U.S.) and a Distinguished Research Staff Member at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 1989.


        High-performance supercomputers are built on commodity parts, let’s say the high-end chips that you and I can also buy, just many more of them. And typically we use some accelerators, in the form of GPUs, on top. We have boards of multiple chips, we put them in a rack, and many of these racks together form a supercomputer. We use commodity parts because it is cheaper, but if you would specially design the chips for doing scientific computations, you would get supercomputers that perform much better, and that is an exciting idea.

        Actually, this is exactly what companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba are doing; they are making their own chips. They can do this because they have enormous funding. Universities are always limited in funding, and therefore they unfortunately have to do with commodity stuff. This is related to one of my other worries: how do we keep talent in the scientific areas, rather than see them go to work for big companies that pay much better?’

      • The Washington PostThis robot catches grandma before she falls

        The mobile robot balance assistant, called “Mr. Bah,” can sense when elderly people lose balance

      • ACM[Computation] Supports Displaced Peoples, Refugees in Ukraine and Beyond

        The United Nations (U.N.) reported in May there were around 7.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine, people who have been forced to leave their homes but who remain in the country. Meanwhile, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency) recorded over 5.9 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country to locations across Europe.

        The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is part of a global situation in which over 89 million people worldwide were found to be “forcibly displaced” due to persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations at the end of 2021, according to UNHCR.

        Displaced peoples and refugees face a multitude of difficulties, from poor living conditions and loss of identity documents to longer-term resettlement, discrimination, and employability issues. Researchers and technology companies have been working with relief organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and governments to develop solutions, some of which are based upon artificial intelligence (AI), to support IDPs and refugees worldwide.

      • uni AaltoNew [computation] system predicts how to prevent wildfires

        Wildfires are a growing threat in a world shaped by climate change. Now, researchers at Aalto University have developed a neural network model that can accurately predict the occurrence of fires in peatlands. They used the new model to assess the effect of different strategies for managing fire risk and identified a suite of interventions that would reduce fire incidence by 50-76%.

        The study focused on the Central Kalimantan province of Borneo in Indonesia, which has the highest density of peatland fires in Southeast Asia. Drainage to support agriculture or residential expansion has made peatlands increasingly vulnerable to recurring fires. In addition to threatening lives and livelihoods, peatland fires release significant amounts of carbon dioxide. However, prevention strategies have faced difficulties because of the lack of clear, quantified links between proposed interventions and fire risk.

      • Chronicle Of Higher EducationWill Artificial Intelligence Kill College Writing? [Ed: As if plagiarism is a new issue and no computer program could do this before?]

        When I was a kid, my favorite poem was Shel Silverstein’s “The Homework Machine,” which summed up my childhood fantasy: a machine that could do my homework at the press of a button. Decades later that technology, the innocuously titled GPT-3, has arrived. It threatens many aspects of university education — above all, college writing.

        The web-based GPT-3 software program, which was developed by an Elon Musk-backed nonprofit called OpenAI, is a kind of omniscient Siri or Alexa that can turn any prompt into prose. You type in a query — say, a list of ingredients (what can I make with eggs, garlic, mushrooms, butter, and feta cheese?) or a genre and prompt (write an inspiring TED Talk on the ways in which authentic leaders can change the world) — and GPT-3 spits out a written response. These outputs can be astonishingly specific and tailored.

      • uni MIT[computation] system makes models like DALL-E 2 more creative
      • Machine Learning Model Predicts Health Conditions of People With MS During Stay-at-Home Periods

        Research led by Carnegie Mellon University has developed a model that can accurately predict how stay-at-home orders like those put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic affect the mental health of people with chronic neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

        Researchers from CMU, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington gathered data from the smartphones and fitness trackers of people with MS both before and during the early wave of the pandemic. Specifically, they used the passively collected sensor data to build machine learning models to predict depression, fatigue, poor sleep quality and worsening MS symptoms during the unprecedented stay-at-home period.

      • - Digital twins could help society solve key sustainability challenges, research shows

        The transformative power of digital twins could be the answer to adapting to environmental changes, helping to democratise global efforts to reach net zero.

      • CNETNASA’s Webb Space Telescope Is So Good, We Might Need Improved Planetary Models

        This telescope is producing impeccable results, but do our models match its excellence?

      • NPRSome leading robot makers are pledging not to weaponize them [Ed: Do you believe them? Do you trust them? Did you check who funds them, MPR?]

        Boston Dynamics and five other robotics companies have signed an open letter saying what many of us were already nervously hoping for anyway: Let’s not weaponize general-purpose robots.

        The six leading tech firms — including Agility Robotics, ANYbotics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics and Unitree — say advanced robots could result in huge benefits in our work and home lives but that they may also be used for nefarious purposes.

      • ACMStorytelling and Science

        In the spirit of this Viewpoint, we begin with a story. One of the authors—Sumit Gulwani—struggled to teach his preschool-aged son—Sumay—a simple conceptual math theorem: Odd plus odd equals even. When diagrams and toys did not work, Sumit realized he had to meet Sumay where he was and not push to a level he was not ready for.a So, he told a story. An odd number, he began, is like a group of kids who are all paired up, except one. That person is “the lonely kid.” And he is happy when they meet another odd number because he gets a friend: the other lonely kid. Now, there are no lonely kids, and that makes them an even number. The look on Sumay’s face told Sumit that the concept had landed immediately. “What is odd plus even?” Sumit asked. In a sad voice, Sumay answered, “Odd, because there is no one to pair up with the lonely kid.” “What is even plus even?” Sumay asked. “Even, because there is no lonely kid to begin with!” Sumit realized his son would best comprehend the abstract theorem when it was couched in a relatable narrative—in this case, one that resonated with a young child’s preoccupation with socialization, friendship, and inclusion. As well, this experience happily turned out to be the seed for Sumay’s love for mathematics and computing.

      • The Wall Street JournalNew York’s Landmark [computer] Bias Law Prompts Uncertainty

        Businesses and their service providers are grappling with how to comply with New York City’s mandate for audits of [computer] systems used in hiring.

        A New York City law that comes into effect in January will require companies to conduct audits to assess biases, including along race and gender lines, in the AI systems they use in hiring. Under New York’s law, the hiring company is ultimately liable—and can face fines—for violations.

        But the requirement has posed some compliance challenges. Unlike familiar financial audits, refined over decades of accounting experience, the AI audit process is new and without clearly established guidelines.

      • Sabine HossenfelderBook Review “The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion” by Sean Carroll

        The first time I heard Sean Carroll speak was almost 20 years ago in Tucson, Arizona, where he gave a physics colloquium. He had just published his first book, a textbook on General Relativity. His colloquium was basically an introduction to modern cosmology, dark matter, dark energy, and the cosmic microwave background.

        It was a splendidly delivered talk; the students loved it. But later I overheard several faculty members remarking they had found it “too simple” and that Sean didn’t seem to be doing much original work. To them, the only good talk was an incomprehensible one. Those remarks, I would later come to realize, are symptomatic of academia: You impress your colleagues by being incomprehensible.

        Sean had begun blogging the same year I heard him speak in Tucson, 2004. I would begin blogging not much later, though for unrelated reasons (I originally didn’t intend to write about science), and naturally I kept track of what he was up to.

        Since then, it has made me very happy to see Sean making a good career both in research and in science communication, on his own terms. I have met him a few times over the years, read most of his books, and reviewed a few. But I didn’t anticipate he’d pop up on YouTube in 2020, stuck at home during the first COVID lockdowns, like all of us. There he was, green screen as crappy as mine had been a year earlier, promising to cover “The Biggest Ideas in the Universe”, when I had just decided to put more effort into my own YouTube channel.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • [Old] ‘I don’t even remember what I read’: People enter a ‘dissociative state’ when using social media

        Sometimes when we are reading a good book, it’s like we are transported into another world and we stop paying attention to what’s around us.

        Researchers at the University of Washington wondered if people enter a similar state of dissociation when surfing social media, and if that explains why users might feel out of control after spending so much time on their favorite app.

        The team watched how participants interacted with a Twitter-like platform to show that some people are spacing out while they’re scrolling. Researchers also designed intervention strategies that social media platforms could use to help people retain more control over their online experiences.

      • Common Dreams[Old] Pesticide Exposure Killed my Husband—Farm Workers Need Better Protections

        My husband, Alejandro, died from lung cancer in 2010. He was just 50 years old. For years, one of my husband’s jobs was to tend to the lettuce fields where we worked in Greenfield. Right after spraying pesticides and weed killers, he would go into the fields, working up the soil with a short-handled hoe so that the lettuce could grow. He would get really close to the ground, breathing in the dust and also the chemical residue that was there.

      • Lee Yingtong LiBig list of medical abbreviations

        These abbreviations are based on Australian (and specifically Victorian) usage. Some abbreviations have other meanings elsewhere (e.g. BSL for British Sign Language).

      • Michael West MediaA sickening thought: medical fund secrecy is a corruption incubator – Michael West

        A brick wall surrounds the awarding of grants for Covid vaccines. The result is the export of billions of dollars of public money to foreign companies such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna, writes Rex Patrick.

        Even though you pay for it, you probably have never heard of it. And that’s the way they want things to stay.

        It’s a $20 billion grant fund. It takes applications in secret, assesses them in secrecy and hides from the public exactly who makes the recommendations on who will receive public money. The panel participants that recommended the last grant may well be a recipient of the next grant – nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
        About 25% of their grants are awarded without a competition.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Bryan LundukeGNU toolchain hosting moving to… Linux Foundation

        GNU toolchain hosting moving to… Linux Foundation

        It appears that the GNU toolchain projects — which includes GCC, Make and glibc — are preparing to move their hosting entirely to… The Linux Foundation.



        This will definitely not end badly. *cough*

    • Security

      • Ruben SchadeDo you log out of sites?

        Here’s a mental exercise. When was the last time you logged out of a site? Not closed the tab, or put your laptop to sleep, or waited for a timeout; but pressed a log off button to end a website session?

        If your answered recently, do you think any of your colleagues, classmates, friends, or family still do?

        I ask, because I’m starting to think it’s unusual. It used to be accepted security wisdom to log out when you were done with a session, but once again I feel like I’m an outlier doing it.

      • Never-Before-Seen Malware Infected Hundreds Of Linux, Windows Devices [Ed: Reposting FUD from Conde Nast; this might boil down to bad passwords and have nothing to do with "Linux"]
      • IT WireUS updates export rules to block high-end chip exports to China

        The US Department of Commerce has announced updates to export rules governing semiconductors which are squarely aimed at preventing China from obtaining high-end chips used in military applications.

        In a statement issued on Friday US time, the department’s Bureau of Industry and Strategy said the updates were “part of BIS’ ongoing efforts to protect US national security and foreign policy interests”.

        The updates affect two key areas and are claimed to “restrict the PRC’s [People Republic of China's] ability to obtain advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and manufacture advanced semiconductors.

        “These items and capabilities are used by the PRC to produce advanced military systems including weapons of mass destruction; improve the speed and accuracy of its military decision making, planning, and logistics, as well as of its autonomous military systems; and commit human rights abuses.

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • Jeff GeerlingClearing Cloudflare and Nginx caches with Ansible [Ed: Jeff Geerling outsourced his site]

          Clearing Cloudflare and Nginx caches with Ansible

          Since being DDoS continuously earlier this year, I’ve set up extra caching in front of my site. Originally I just had Nginx’s proxy cache, but that topped out around 100 Mbps of continuous bandwidth and maybe 5-10,000 requests per second on my little DigitalOcean VPS.

        • Lawrence Trattpizauth, an OAuth2 token requester daemon, in alpha

          One Monday a few weeks back, I found myself unable to send emails via my work account. I had received no advanced warning and there was no clue in the error message I was seeing as to what the cause might be. I was briefly tempted to view my cut-off from work as a good thing before, irritatingly, the sense of duty my parents instilled in me kicked in. After a while I realised that the problem was that my msmtp setup was using basic authorisation – what the rest of us think of as a traditional username and password – to send emails. Not only does my work’s Microsoft Exchange server no longer accept basic authentication, but Microsoft are killing it off for everyone before the end of the year — more people are thus about to experience the same confusion I experienced.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Bryan LundukeDown the rabbit hole: Making my life private and secure

          Back in 2017, I wrote a series of articles entitled “Down the rabbit hole: Making my life private and secure” — where I chronicled my attempts at securing my personal data.

          Over the course of 7 articles, written for Network World, we touched on everything from email to traffic cameras. The rabbit hole of securing the data of my day-to-day life was deep.

          Below, I have combined all 7 of those articles together into one mega journey into privacy and security, from the point of view of 2017. The majority of what follows still applies today — in fact, some things are far more dire. Likewise, some of my conclusions and recommendations will be slightly different in 2022… but many remain the same.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Michael West MediaWhat do you think the arms trade is, a charity? Actually yes, that’s what it is – Michael West

        All’s not fair at the warfare Expo, where taxpayer-funded arms merchants hobnob with military types by invitation only. “Aggressive” journalists not allowed. Persona non grata Callum Foote reports on Land Forces 2022, Australia’s biggest War Fair.

        Land Forces is the annual exposition for the defence industry, or the most profitable corporate welfare exercise in the country.

        Australia is the fourth largest importer of weapons in the world, behind Saudi Arabia, India and Egypt. It is roughly the 20th largest exporter of weapons. This is a disparity former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne, now a defence industry consultant, set out to rectify in 2018 with the launch of the $3 billion Defence Export Strategy after meeting with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan. Pyne, who was in attendance at Land Forces 2022, stated at the time the goal of making Australia a top-10 exporter.

      • [Older] What Do We Owe Afghanistan?

        The 9/11 attacks could have been dealt with as a crime. This would have been sane and consistent with precedent. When lawbreaking occurs, we seek the perpetrators, rather than starting wars with unrelated parties. When the IRA set off bombs in London, nobody called for air strikes on West Belfast (or on Boston, where a great deal of IRA funding came from). When the Oklahoma City bombing was found to have been perpetrated by a white supremacist associated with ultra-right militias, there was no call to obliterate Idaho or Montana. Instead, the attacker was searched for, found, apprehended, brought to court, found guilty, and sentenced.

        This was not the approach taken by the Bush administration. Rather than seek out and punish the guilty—and only the guilty—it swiftly launched a “global war on terror” that led to the deaths of millions.1

        After the attacks, the Bush administration demanded that the Taliban immediately hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. The Taliban, in response, offered to put bin Laden on trial, if the United States provided evidence of his guilt. Bush refused. Nor did he consider the Taliban’s offer to give up bin Laden to a neutral third country. His demand, he said, was nonnegotiable. He would not provide the requested evidence (in fact, he had none at the time). He would not enter into talks. Historian Carter Malkasian notes that Bush “did not instruct Powell to open a line to the Taliban to work things out, which would have been the normal diplomatic course of action to avoid a war.”

      • MongabayDebunking the colonial myth of the ‘African Eden’: Q-A with author Guillaume Blanc

        In debunking persistent myths like that of an “African Eden,” Guillaume Blanc, author of “The Invention of Green Colonialism,” lays bare contradictions in the European project to secure and simultaneously exploit Africa’s land during direct colonial rule and after.

        “The more the destruction was happening in Northern [Hemisphere] countries, the more we wanted to save it in Africa,” he told Mongabay in an interview, describing how the campaign to preserve pristine wilderness in Africa has led to the casting of its inhabitants as destructive invaders.

        Blanc argues that the organizations that evolved out of colonial arrangements for colonial aims must acknowledge and apologize for the harm inflicted, dig deeper when seeking change, and cast a wider net for more meaningful solutions that treat citizens of African countries as collaborators not encroachers on their own lands.

        Organizations with a global presence must work with residents of places where they operate and focus on localized research and solutions to remain relevant, Blanc said.

      • The Revelations Will Be Televised | Kyle Paoletta

        WHEN REPRESENTATIVE BENNIE THOMPSON gaveled in the public hearings of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol this summer, he pronounced that the nine members of the panel, though hailing from “a diversity of communities from all over the United States, rural areas and cities, East Coast, West Coast, and the heartland,” were bound together in common purpose by their oath of office. That oath, the gray-bearded eminence continued, was “to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” In the nineteen hours and forty minutes of televisual spectacle that followed, the weight of the oath rarely went unremarked upon for long.

        Vice chair Liz Cheney, whose war criminal father was elected vice president despite losing the national popular vote, and who represents a state with fewer residents than Memphis but the same number of senators as California, averred that “in our country we don’t swear an oath to an individual or a political party, we take our oath to defend the United States Constitution.” When taken by the president, this sacred vow, as Representative Adam Schiff effused, confers transformative, “awesome” power, which is “even more awesome when it is handed on peacefully.” Representative Adam Kinzinger queued a supercut of “what attorneys general, Democrats and Republicans alike, have said about upholding their oath to the Constitution” that featured both Jeff Sessions and Loretta Lynch. But perhaps the most passionate defense of the oath of office came not from a member of the Select Committee but Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of Arizona’s House of Representatives, who captivated viewers during the fourth hearing with his heroic tale of rebuffing Donald Trump’s request that he sign off on a scheme to send fake electors to Washington by saying, “You’re asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath.” His reasons were not so much patriotic as pious. As the former missionary went on to explain, glasses sliding down his aquiline nose, “It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired.”

      • Excerpt from the new book The Greatest Evil is War by Chris Hedges

        I flew to Kansas City to see Tomas Young. Tomas was paralyzed in Iraq in 2004. He was receiving hospice care at his home. I knew him by reputation and the movie documentary Body of War. He was one of the first veterans to publicly oppose the war in Iraq. He fought as long and as hard as he could against the war that crippled him, until his physical deterioration caught up with him.

        “I had been toying with the idea of suicide for a long time because I had become helpless,” he told me in his small house on the Kansas City outskirts where he intended to die. “I couldn’t dress myself. People have to help me with the most rudimentary of things. I decided I did not want to go through life like that anymore. The pain, the frustration.…”

        He stopped abruptly and called his wife. “Claudia, can I get some water?” She opened a bottle of water, took a swig so it would not spill when he sipped, and handed it to him.

      • Democracy NowGrand Jury Declines to Indict Woman for Role in Lynching of Emmett Till | Democracy Now!

        In news from Mississippi, a grand jury has declined to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham for her role in the lynching of Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago. Till was a 14-year-old Black teenager who was brutally abducted, tortured and killed in Mississippi in 1955 after he allegedly whistled at Donham, a white woman who worked as a store clerk.

      • Michael West MediaWar Powers Reform: those in favour say aye … or maybe “no comment” – Michael West

        True to its word, the Albanese government has announced an inquiry into War Powers. Alison Broinowski looks at the politics and the players, and the chances of reform so the decision to take Australians to war requires a vote of Parliament, rather than a one-man-call.

        After a decade of public efforts to get politicians to concentrate on changing how Australia goes to war, the Albanese government has now responded by taking the first step.

        The announcement on September 30 of a parliamentary inquiry reflects the concerns of groups across Australia that we might slide into another disastrous conflict – this time in our region. Those welcoming it are 83% of Australians who want Parliament to vote before we go to war. Many see this opportunity for reform as potentially putting Australia ahead of similar democracies.

        While many nations have constitutions requiring democratic scrutiny of decisions for war, Australia is not among them. Nor are Canada or New Zealand. The UK has conventions, and British efforts to legislate the war powers have failed. In the US, efforts to reform of the War Powers Act of 1973 have repeatedly been defeated.

        West Australian Labor MP Josh Wilson wants research done by the parliamentary library to update inquiry members on how other democracies respond to governments’ war proposals.

      • Michael West MediaShould one man decide on war? Labor declares inquiry into War Powers reform – Michael West

        One man makes the decision to send Australian troops off to war; no matter how futile, how distant, or how relevant the war. That man is now Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Earlier this year it was Scott Morrison. In the US and the UK, it is Congress and Parliament respectively which make this fateful decision.

        Labor has come good on its commitment to hold a parliamentary inquiry into War Powers reform. It is an issue which Michael West Media has been covering constantly for a year now, calling all the politicians in federal parliament for their views.
        The inquiry was referred by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles MP this week to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT). Here are the Terms of Reference.

      • Michael West MediaMWM too ‘aggressive’ for the merchants of death

        All’s not fair at the warfare Expo, where taxpayer-funded arms merchants hobnob with military types by invitation only. “Aggressive” journalists not allowed.

    • Environment

      • Neil SelwynEdTech and Climate Colonialism

        As the 2020s progress, so does the realisation that the ever-increasing digitisation of our everyday lives and societies comes at an unsustainable cost. One of the many dark-sides of the digital age is the ruinous production, consumption and disposal of digital technologies – not least, the extractive and exploitative logics of resource depletion, high energy demands, ecological destruction, and low-income forced labour.

        As is well-documented, all of these burdens fall disproportionately on the poorest parts of the world. Much of the digital technology supply chain is fuelled by the global South – from Congolese colton mines to electronic waste-sites of Karachi. Similarly, when massive resource-hungry data-centres and silicon-chip factories are located in richer countries, then these tend to be in the most vulnerable and marginalised communities – such as Google’s strategic decision to locate water-greedy data centres in rural Texas.

      • Energy

        • China wants to build the world’s first nuclear reactor with fusion ignition

          Construction of a pulsed hybrid fusion-nuclear power station will begin in 2025. Apparently, China plans to complete all the work in a short time, as the reactor is scheduled to start up in 2028.

          The station is called the Z-FFR. It will be able to create a current of 50 million A, which should be enough for fusion. The released energy will not be withdrawn. Instead, it will be redirected to start the fission reaction in the fuel. After that, the energy will go to the turbines in the form of heat, as it happens in traditional nuclear reactors.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • New study finds global forest area per capita has decreased by over 60% – IOP Publishing

          Over the past 60 years, the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million hectares, a loss that contributed to the more than 60% decline in global forest area per capita. This loss threatens the future of biodiversity and impacts the lives of 1.6 billion people worldwide, according to a new study published today by IOP Publishing in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

          A team of researchers, led by Ronald C. Estoque from the Center for Biodiversity and Climate Change, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) in Japan, have found that the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million hectares from 1960 to 2019, equivalent to an area of more than 10% of the entire Borneo Island, with gross forest loss (437.3 million hectares) outweighing gross forest gain (355.6 million hectares).

          The team used global land use dataset to examine how global forests have changed over space and time. Consequently, the decline in global forests combined with the increase in global population over the 60-year period has resulted in a decrease of the global forest area per capita by over 60%, from 1.4 hectares in 1960 to 0.5 hectares in 2019.

        • Mona Lisa Wallace on the Case Against Smithfield Foods

          It used to be that America’s hogs were produced on small farms – with anywhere from a couple of dozen hogs to a couple of hundred.

          Then hog farms were replaced with hog factories.

          They are now called confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

          The major CAFO player, Smithfield Foods, contracts out with small operators, mostly in eastern North Carolina. Buildings are built to house thousands of hogs.

          Hogs produce anywhere from five to ten times more waste than humans. They relieve themselves on slatted floors. The waste drops down through pipes into unlined lagoons. And the resulting smell and disease is a disaster for those living in the surrounding communities – mostly African American residents whose families have lived there for generations.

          Their complaints landed on deaf ears until about 2013, when they met a lawyer named Mona Lisa Wallace.

    • Finance

      • RetailWireWill Amazon’s $1 billion payroll investment work to keep front lines staffed?

        Amazon.com yesterday said it will invest $1 billion over the next year to raise the pay of frontline workers and that it was introducing a new perk that would give these employees early access to a portion of their paychecks.

        The retail and technology giant said that its frontline workers in customer fulfillment and transportation will now earn between $16 and $26 per hour, depending on their position and where they are working in the U.S.

        “Front-line employees across customer fulfillment and transportation will now earn, on average, more than $19 per hour in the U.S., and they also have access to a growing range of comprehensive benefits to support themselves and their families,” said John Felton, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, in a statement. “Continuing to invest in pay, providing easy access to earned wages at any time during the month, and offering great benefits and career advancement opportunities are all part of our long-term efforts to be the best employer in the world.”

      • New York TimesAmazon Freezes Corporate Hiring in Its Retail Business

        It is the latest tech company to pump the brakes on hiring amid growing economic concerns.

      • The Conversation[Old] How a Soviet miner from the 1930s helped create today’s intense corporate workplace culture

        One summer night in August, 1935, a young Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov managed to extract 102 tonnes of coal in a single shift. This was nothing short of extraordinary (according to Soviet planning, the official average for a single shift was seven tonnes).

        Stakhanov shattered this norm by a staggering 1,400%. But the sheer quantity involved was not the whole story. It was Stakhanov’s achievement as an individual that became the most meaningful aspect of this episode. And the work ethic he embodied then – which spread all over the USSR – has been invoked by managers in the west ever since.

      • Michael West MediaThe monster that ate hope: Robodebt was a tragedy 40 years in the making – Michael West

        Even by the miserable standards set during nine years of Coalition government, Robodebt was one of its worst scandals. #Mate examines the scheme’s genesis and its disastrous fallout.

        The royal commission into the illegal Robodebt scheme that ruined the lives of countless Australians opened in Brisbane this week. The commission is chaired by Catherine Holmes, a former Queensland Supreme Court chief justice.

        Inaugurated in 2015, the scheme falsely accused welfare recipients of owing money to the government and issued debt notices to people identified through a process called income averaging, which compared their reported income with Tax Office figures. More than $750 million was wrongfully recovered from 381,000 people.

      • Neil SelwynEdTech downscaling and de-accumulation … where to start? – Critical Studies of EDUCATION – TECHNOLOGY

        So what, then, are the EdTech equivalents of these expendable acts of overconsumption? Where is digital technology being applied to education in excessive, superfluous, useless ways … what David Graeber might have termed ‘bullshit EdTech’?

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Tim Bray2022 Vancouver Election

        In the City of Vancouver’s 2022 election, deciding who to vote for is extraordinarily difficult. Since we don’t have a ward system, we have to vote for one mayor, ten city councillors, seven park-board commissioners, and nine school-board trustees. There are six local political parties running random variations of mayoral candidates (or not) and full or partial slates for the other bodies. I just finished doing sufficient research to make my own choices; maybe my sharing it will be useful to one or two other Vancouverites.


        I got no credentials, folks. Well, pathetically weak ones: I’ve been living here on and off for 39 years. I read fast. I’ve attended the occasional council and school board meeting and even presented issues there.

      • Make Congress Accountable

        Its failings and subservience to corporatism are historic in scope.

        This is the 50th anniversary of our Congress Project that profiled in detail members of Congress. No citizen group has ever done this before or since.

        Our 1972 Congress Project provides a context for measuring the decline of Congress, both in its near abandonment of its constitutional powers vis-à-vis the executive branch and its collective subservience to the many forces of corporatism over the people’s necessities.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Rashida Tlaib’s historic face-off with Israel lobby over ‘apartheid’ – Mondoweiss

        Rashida Tlaib’s comment that “you cannot claim to hold progressive values yet back Israel’s apartheid government” is turning into a defining moment in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

        Leading Jewish groups have attacked Tlaib for supposedly calling for Israel’s destruction. Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL has said that she is an antisemite. And the rightwing lobby group the Democratic Majority for Israel has helped rally a large number of Democratic House members to condemn her comments, with Rep. Ritchie Torres leading the parade, and and Debbie Wasserman Schultz in tow.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Democracy Now50 Palestinians Ordered Off Israeli Bus to Make Room for Three Jewish Riders | Democracy Now!

        An Israeli bus company has apologized after a bus driver ordered 50 Palestinian workers off a bus near Tel Aviv last week. The driver ordered the Palestinians off the bus after three Jewish passengers got on and refused to travel with the Palestinians.

      • Dog Whistle or Just Racist? – Mother Jones

        Republican strategist Lee Atwater is the godfather of the modern political dog whistle. He didn’t go around calling it that—I can’t actually find any evidence that he even used the term—but in a 1981 interview about how the GOP won the South, Atwater offered a concise description.

        “By 1968 you can’t say ‘[n-word]’—that hurts you, [it] backfires, so you say stuff like, uh, ‘forced busing,’ ‘states’ rights,’” Atwater explained. “And you’re getting so abstract. Now you’re talking about ‘cutting taxes.’”

        Atwater was speaking anonymously to a political scientist from his perch as a staffer in Ronald Reagan’s White House. He was also telling on himself. He got his start working for the arch-­segregationist Strom Thurmond. Later, as a campaign manager for George H.W. Bush, he would push the Willie Horton ad, which tied Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis to a Black man who committed multiple violent crimes while out on furlough from prison. On the surface, it was just a factual criticism about a weekend-release program. On a different frequency, it was screaming at white voters about a racist trope. Plausible deniability was crucial. Atwater told reporters that he at first hadn’t known Horton was Black.

    • Monopolies

      • ACMData Platforms and Network Effects

        Industry platforms are foundations that bring people and organizations together for a common purpose, which usually includes making money. They function at the level of a market or ecosystem, rather than only within a specific firm. They often start with products such as operating systems and microprocessors, services such as social media and messaging systems, or marketplaces for e-commerce and financial transactions. They can link thousands, millions, or even billions of users and other market actors. But another type of industry platform has recently received attention from consultants such as The Boston Consulting Group as well as investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers. These platforms center around data. Some have become extremely valuable. How can data inspire industry platforms and what is their potential as businesses?

        A distinctive feature of industry platforms, and fundamental to their definition, is the ability to generate positive feedback loops with increasing returns for users and other market participants.4 We call these feedback loops “network effects.” They occur on the same-side of the market when a platform connects users directly to other users, such as with the telephone, a social media or messaging app, or any peer-to-peer exchange system. Then cross-side network effects can occur when an industry platform connects demand (for example, buyers) with supply (for example, sellers). Network effects imply the value of the platform increases, at least potentially and sometimes geometrically or exponentially, with each additional user or “complement,” such as apps for a smartphone or drivers for a ride-sharing service. But, when it comes to data, who are the users and what are the demand and supply sides? And where are the network effects, if any?

      • Copyrights/Canada

        • Michael GeistThe House of Commons Committee Process is Broken

          Over the past year, I have watched an unhealthy amount of House of Commons and Senate committee hearings. In fact, in recent months I may have watched more of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage than Netflix, given hearings on Bill C-11, C-18, and the Laith Marouf issue. Having watched many hours – and appeared multiple times before that committee and others – it is time to declare the system broken. I’m not sure I have answers, but the starting point may be recognizing that Canadians are not being well served and there is plenty of blame to go around.

          The impetus for this post is Friday’s hearing on the Laith Marouf incident. The problems started even before the hearing as the committee voted against asking Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez to appear as part of the study, with some MPs saying they would take a wait-and-see approach. But if government is to be accountable for the disastrous failure for using an anti-hate program to fund anti-semite, committee testimony should not be something to avoid.


          Contrast that with the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications that has been conducting hearings into Bill C-11. There are some politics there too – some Senators are pretty clearly supportive of the bill, others opposed, and still others on the fence – but the hearings seemingly always place policy above politics. Senators ask real questions in an effort to learn, rarely ignore witnesses, and don’t try to kill time. I don’t know if we will see a better outcome from those hearings, but it can hardly be worse than the House committee that cut off debate and voted on over hundred amendments without any discussion or public disclosure of the content of the proposed amendments.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • The badger and the fouled river.

        In the summer after the brewery shut down for good, the water from the taps turned sour and yellow. It smelt of illness, and was not fit to consume. The pump-house drew from the river, but there was nothing they could do for it.

        One day, I went to the river’s edge, and smelled the foul water there. A badger came out from between the reeds, and cocked its head in a knowing way. It spoke to me in a soft voice.

        “Up the valley, at the confluence, there is work you must do.”

      • The calming session

        Sometimes a day is too short for every planned activity or we don’t have enough energy to complete them all. I had been abroad for some time, and shortly before that, I couldn’t focus on the small-net routines. The result was less visible writing here. And when you aren’t regularly in, you start to become out. So I start missing more and more entries of Antenna and Bongusta aggregators. And I stop responding to the Cosmos threads. My capsule is moving in space silently and is invisible.

        But it wasn’t that I did nothing. I’ve tuned up my Astrobotany script, which frees me from the obligation to water the plant. I didn’t want to kill my plant like Deerbard, but I was also a little fed up with looking after it. The Tamagotchi of the Geminispace is now operated from crontab, and the script is available on my Git repository.

      • SpellBinding: VORSTUI Wordo: JIFFS
      • SpellBinding: DFGIYTR Wordo: SPOUT
      • Stuff I’ve been cooking

        Welcome to the inaugural episode of WHAT! HAS! KALE! BEEN! EATING!, which is going to be a regular occurrence here because my life is nothing but a series of meals interspersed by other less important obligations. I also get the pleasure of trying to describe my food in words!

        I’m still going through the five stages of grief from the loss of my beautiful, perfect, beloved Palisade peaches. On the other hand, it’s finally starting to cool off, which means that I can run my oven without my apartment also turning into an oven. Joy cannot exist without suffering.

      • Non-sexual kink isn’t somehow ‘superior’ to sexual kink

        Kink doesn’t have to involve sex, but it doesn’t have to _not_ involve sex.

        Non-sexual kink isn’t somehow ‘superior’ to sexual kink. Sexual play isn’t ‘lesser’ than non-sexual play.

        For some of us, kink and sex are interwoven. Some of us have kinks from which the sexual component cannot be removed.

    • Technical

      • the handbook

        it’s certification time! and certification authority demands from the leadership board that the management handbook is available to all employees, even mandates that every employee has to read it. as good citizens go, our ceo created this handbook for us, the employees!

        anyone who doesn’t know what such a handbook is? don’t feel excluded much longer! it contains the core mission of the company, and the key value indicators to measure the success of the mission. plus very long sections on quality and security and stuff.

        as it turns out the mission is customer satisfaction, and customer happiness, flavoured with some integrity and security. not surprising, really. however something that did strike me as odd was that our website and internal communication outline how diverse our company is, how the company involves itself in saving the planet, and other things like wrapping christmas presents and other social activities. none of this can be found in the management handbook.

      • Steam Deck

        I didn’t intend to buy a Steam Deck. I figured my Switch would be enough for personal use, and hey, after the other Steam Machines, maybe it’d be better to sit this one out. But I was wrong.

        A few things tipped me over. First, the initial reviews—especially from people I knew—were positive, and second, it started selling like hotcakes.

        I knew it was worth supporting when people began sending me pictures of my games running on it, so about a month ago, when my pre-order window opened, I dropped the cash, and one week later, I was the proud owner of a Steam Deck.

      • Internet/Gemini

      • Programming

        • Record destructuring with brev

          Since brev’s defines are just me hacking in matchable support in the define headers, and I didn’t know matchable that well at first, I’m always discovering new things that this means for brev’s define.

          For example, it’s a match made in heaven when working with records.

        • Re: What is a unit test

          The answer is actually more sensible in C than it was in Smalltalk: a unit is a compilation unit. In C, it is a file.

          Any changes to source will require changes to a file. Once a source file is altered, it may screw something up in the resultant binary. Therefore, there should be a unit test to check that the altered unit behaves as expected.

          Now, if it’s a header, it may alter the behavior of many source units…

        • Find a URL in a Document While Using Vim

          The forward slashes in a URL affect the search operator in Vim. And you won’t be able to match the entire URL without using escape sequences.

          Below, I discuss different ways to search for a URL in Vim.

        • First Common Lisp work

          The first step was writing some Elisp code. I build some stuff, and used those to do some actual stuff, take those “in production”, so to say.

          Those working things are in all about 1,000 lines of Elisp code.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

Money Talks at ‘Linux’ Foundation: From ‘Open Source Loves Microsoft’ to ‘Thank You to Our Sponsors, Especially to Our Diamond Sponsor Microsoft’

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A few years ago:

Jim Zemlin Says “Open Source Loves Microsoft”

A few weeks ago:

Linux Foundation “Wanna First Start Off by Saying a Thank You to Our Sponsors, Especially to Our Diamond Sponsor Microsoft”

'Open Source loves Microsoft' -Zemlin

Summary: The Linux Foundation became as compromised as can be; let the videos above be a reminder of it

[Meme] There is No Such Thing as Social Control Media; It’s Not Social, It’s Not Media, It’s Just Other People’s Computers (Servers)

Posted in Deception, Servers, Site News at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fediverse; Self-hosted blog; Diaspora

Summary: Just like “clown computing”, the “social” “media” bubble relies on false assumptions [1, 2] made by those who adopt “trendy” or “fashionable” things

The Promise of Data (and Accounts’) Portability in Federated Networks Like Fediverse and Diaspora is Still Unfulfilled

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Protocol, Servers at 3:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 45f7440fb45003c310202bfbf38004c8
Mastodon False Promises
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Account migration in Mastodon (the foremost Fediverse player) does not work as advertised; this means that users are partly locked in/indebted to a platform and a “vendor”, which might stay online for just months or a few years (users don’t get to vote on that)

THIS morning we wrote about the shutdown of a large Mastodon instance. The site Tux Machines is among the casualties.

What does this mean? It’s important to discuss the ramifications, as at the very least it can serve as a cautionary tale.

“It’s important to discuss the ramifications, as at the very least it can serve as a cautionary tale.”The video published this morning was recorded several hours before a migration from one instance to another was attempted. So how did the migration go? Well, it may not be entirely complete just yet, but so far it doesn’t look good. Then again, my expectations were low to begin with, having explained the false promise of free speech [1, 2] and having experienced similar issues in Diaspora. When it comes to migration of accounts from one instance/pod to another, Mastodon is only a little better than Diaspora (no account migration facility at all). Maybe they should stop advertising that. Don’t give people false hopes.

Work in progress is shown in the video above (many open tabs), but it seems like only about 800 connections (out of ~1,300) got migrated and not a single “toot” got migrated. There seems to be no plan to correct this either, based on the official documentation.

Is it reasonable to start again from scratch (zero content) each time an account is migrated? A lot of history gets lost forever.

“This is hardly an accomplishment for a supposedly Free, decentralised, robust network of platforms/deployments.”The same thing happened with Identi.ca and one day it’ll happen with Twitter as well (people who get their account nuked have already experienced this without prior warning). Maybe that’s good reason to wish for the ultimate end of social control media. It was a temporary and mostly failed experiment that harms society. TikTok took this kind of harm to new heights, having become a safe harbour for pedophiles (Gab is a Nazis’ harbour) and destroyer of at least one generation.

Stay tuned as a post mortem or conclusion will be posted at a later date, but it certainly looks like Tux Machines lost over 78,000 “toots” posted in the course of 5.5 years.

This is hardly an accomplishment for a supposedly Free, decentralised, robust network of platforms/deployments. Very disappointing.

Social Control Media Heading Towards Extinction

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Servers at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum a3e4063d88e9991b3b957d0278440813
Collapse of So-Called Social Media
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Not only does social control media lack a business model; it lacks an incentive to participate and maintain as more people flee and move on to better things in life

EARLIER this year I argued that “Social Control Media is a Bubble and JoinDiaspora Might be the Next Casualty” and by year’s end the other instance/pod that I use, this one in the Fediverse, is shutting down as well. It’ll be gone by year’s end with all the stuff ever posted to it. Poof! Like “the cloud”!

Let this serve as an important and timely reminder: people need to run their own blogs/sites (simpler is better) and rely on RSS feeds for syndication. Centralisation (like “planets”) is undesirable, as usual, so passing around OPML files is just vastly better. This is what we’ve done for years. By today’s bandwidth standards, RSS feeds are cheap. They’re simple and effective. Those have historically been a lot more age-proof and they can be portable. They’re also more censorship-resistant for all sorts of reasons.

An associate has suggested “self-hosting one’s own blog. There are a lot of options from simple to complex, from doing it all yourself to outsourcing larger components. Renting a domain name from a registrar is not that large an annual cost, or at least I hope it is not.”

We don’t want to recommend any host or software; this post is explanatory and focuses on concepts, not endorsement of ‘brands’.

So mastodon.technology threw in the towel; this isn’t surprising at all.

“LinkedIn (Microsoft) has layoffs, Facebook will have a lot of layoffs soon (“Meta” is trying to deny it), Twitter is at the mercy of frauds, and the Free/federated/decentralised or even self-hosted alternatives aren’t doing too well either (stagnation at best).”“I have sad news that I have decided to shut down the mastodon.technology instance,” says the administrator. “In accordance with the Mastodon Server Covenant, the server will be shut down no earlier than December 1, 2022.”

My interactions with him have not been positive and he now says: “This made me realize how little joy I’ve been getting from being an admin. How I’ve come to resent the work I have volunteered to do. I’ve donated countless hours to running the instance, solving both technical and moderation problems, and I’ve always put the instance above my own needs. But I can’t put the instance above the needs of my family.”

“The world needs to move on and the Internet should assess its future.”As I explain in the video above, I cannot export my data and it’s going to be pointless to complain about it, judging by how it all went in JoinDiaspora. I also predict that all social control media will become a thing of the past (no business model, no benefit to society either) although it’s not clear what will replace it or what is already replacing it (if anything at all). LinkedIn (Microsoft) has layoffs, Facebook will have a lot of layoffs soon (“Meta” is trying to deny it), Twitter is at the mercy of frauds, and the Free/federated/decentralised or even self-hosted* alternatives aren’t doing too well either (stagnation at best).

The world needs to move on and the Internet should assess its future. The Web suffers a midlife crisis in its 30s and social control media peaked about a decade after it started. It’s all downhill from there.

Facebook and other GAFAM companies tried to extend their lifetime somewhat by penetrating remote areas and esoteric groups, including age groups. Similarly, “The Federation” became orphaned and it is now run by someone to only document its demise. The numbers below can be misleading; only about 1 in 1,000 citizens of Earth has an account and about 90% of those aren’t even active, so we’re talking about market penetration rate of about 0.01% (6,144,747 total users and 574,911 active users this past month).

The Federation

* The term is relative. Unless one runs one’s own ISP and maintains one’s local DNS server, ‘true’ self-hosting is almost impossible. Even then, there are some upstream dependencies at the backbone and trans-continental traffic. The Internet is made not of peers; it’s a bit more like a pyramid still. P2P and decentralisations are merely ‘hacks’, just like Tor/Onion relays.

Links 08/10/2022: 25th Anniversary Ultima Online

Posted in News Roundup at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux HintBest Ubuntu Laptops You Can Buy in 2022 [Ed: Bordering on Amazon linkspam]

        If you’re looking for the best Ubuntu laptop to buy in 2022, then you have many great options to choose from. The laptops we recommend in this article either ship with Ubuntu pre-installed, or they work with the popular Linux distribution without any issues.

    • Server

      • uni TorontoHow I’ve set up my libvirt based virtual machines (in late 2022)

        I moved from VMWare Workstation to using Linux’s libvirt and its native virtualization facilities earlier this year, and I’ve been happy with that move although I still would like to be able to take good snapshots of UEFI based virtual machines. Over time I’ve wound up with a setup that I’m happy with for the work that I do, one that’s similar but not quite the same as my VMWare setup.

        I have two groups of VMs. One group is Fedora VMs (and one Windows VM) that I use for testing Fedora upgrades, Windows things, and so on. All of these machines are NAT’d through a somewhat customized NAT setup, and I basically just run them. I make little to no usage of VM snapshots; about my only use is to snapshot them before I do something I consider unusually risky (or that I may want to re-try), and then generally to delete the snapshot later after it worked.

        The second group of VMs is VMs used to test various things in our Ubuntu server environment. Our environment expects machines to have real IPs, so all of these vms use ‘macvtap’ bridged networked (on a second, completely unused port) and have their own IPs. Our standard Ubuntu install setup has a two stage install process, where we first install from ISO image (which sets the machine’s IP address, among other things) and then run through a large postinstall step to customize machines. With most of the testing I do, I want to start from scratch in a fresh install (which most closely mimics real servers) rather than try to shuffle around software and setups on an already installed machine.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • VideoHow To Transition From Chrome To Firefox – Invidious

        You’ve been preparing for the death of chrome adblockers and manifest V2, Firefox will support both manifest V2 and manifest V3 for as long as possible so its the best choice. In this video I show you how to setup Firefox to be the same as chrome including profiles, browser sync, and casting.

    • Graphics Stack

      • [Old] Vulkan Render-Queues and how they Sync

        There is of course, a way to make queue ownership transfers the responsibility of the driver, by declaring every resource to be VK_SHARING_MODE_CONCURRENT instead of VK_SHARING_MODE_EXCLUSIVE. But how much fun would that be? And, it is said that this is rather bad for performance (I would assume that queue ownership is then internally transferred lazily at the last possible moment, and that this could cause bubbles). And, heck, we’re using a rendergraph, which means the renderer should get out intentions telegraphed far enough ahead in advance to make the right decisions…

    • Applications

      • DebugPointBest Whiteboard Applications for Linux Systems

        In general, a digital whiteboard is a tool that contains a large interactive display in the form of a whiteboard. Some examples of whiteboard devices are – Tab, large-screen mobile phones, touch-screen laptops, and surface displays.

        If an instructor uses a whiteboard, you can draw, write or manipulate elements on those device screens using a touch-sensitive pen, stylus, finger or mouse. That means you can drag, click, erase, draw – do everything on the whiteboard that can be done on a piece of paper using a pen.

        But to do all those, you need software that supports all those functionalities. That means bridging the gap between your touch and the display.

        Now, there are many commercial applications available for this work. But we will talk about some of the free and open-source whiteboard applications in this article that are available for Linux Systems.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • uni TorontoHow old various Unix signals are

        Process signals are a famously tricky part of Unix in practice (although they can sometimes seem simple in theory). Recently I found myself wondering how old various Unix signals are. The answer turns out to be older than I expected for most signals, although it’s difficult for me to tell exactly how far back they really go because of our limited sources for very early versions of Research Unix.

      • The yearly “On self-hosting e-mail.”

        Carlos Fenollosa recently published an article titled “After self-hosting my email for twenty-three years I have thrown in the towel. The oligopoly has won.”.

        It gained quite a bit of attention in my online social circles, and while I do agree with some of the points they made (specifically that e-mail isn’t as simple as it used to be a decade ago), I disagree with fair bits of their opinion. I know that I’m late to the party, but I want to use this post to elaborate why nonetheless.

      • Data SwampLinux BTRFS continuous snapshots

        Snapshots are not backups! It is important to understand this. If your storage is damaged or the file system get corrupted, or the device stolen, you will lose your data. Backups are archives of your data that are on another device, and which can be used when the original device is lost/destroyed/corrupted. However, snapshots are superfast and cheap, and can be used to recover accidentally deleted files.

      • Linux HintVirtualBox: Beginners Guide and How to Setup Ubuntu Virtual Machine

        VirtualBox (VB) is a cross-platform hypervisor or virtualization software developed by Oracle Corporation. Basically, VB allows user to run guest operating system on another host operating system virtually without need for partitioning of hard drive or running another OS on dual boot which involves risk of crashing host system.

        VirtualBox creates virtual hard drive and installs guest OS on it. Virtual hard drive is nothing but the big size file stored on the computer hard drive. This file works as a real hard drive for the guest OS.

        Running any application software or video game on virtual machines is sometimes not as smooth as running them on OS installed on full hardware. Everything depends on amount of hardware resource allocated to virtual machine.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install HandBrake on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

        Anyone who has ever had to deal with video files knows they can be a pain. Different devices use different formats, and you’ll often have to convert a video from one format to another to watch it on your chosen device. This can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re dealing with large files. Fortunately, there’s a solution: HandBrake.

        HandBrake is an open-source video transcoder that supports Mac, Windows, or Linux. It can convert videos in many different formats into more commonly used ones like MP4 with minimal file size reduction – making it efficient at reducing the amount of data consumed on your hard drive while also helping save time! Whether you need to take a video from your phone and watch it on your laptop, or you want to download a movie from the internet and watch it on your TV, Handbrake is the tool for you.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Handbrake on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish using the command line terminal with various methods to install the transcoding software and update and remove the software if the need arises.

      • Linux NightlyHow to Install GNOME on Ubuntu 22.04 – Linux Nightly

        The GNOME desktop environment is the default GUI for Ubuntu systems. However, if you’re running Ubuntu Server or one of the other flavors of Ubuntu such as Kubuntu or Lubuntu, then you won’t have GNOME installed by default. Follow along with us below to get GNOME installed on Ubuntu.

      • LinuxTechiHow to Install VMware Workstation Pro on Debian 11 / 10

        In this guide, we will cover how to install VMware workstation Pro on Debian 11 / 10 step-by-step. At the time of writing this guide, VMware Workstation 16 Pro is available.

      • How to Add a Directory to PATH in Ubuntu – Pi My Life Up

        On Linux-based systems such as Ubuntu, the PATH environment variable is used by the system to search for commands.

        For example, when you type in a command like “nano”, Ubuntu will search any directory listed in the PATH variable for that program.

        If the PATH environment variable didn’t exist, you would have to type in the full path to every file you want to run.

        It is possible to add directories temporarily or permanently to Ubuntu’s PATH variable. By adding a new directory, Ubuntu will check it for any new binary files the next time you run a command.

      • Running Paperless-NG on the Raspberry Pi – Pi My Life Up

        Paperless-NG is a powerful software designed to act as a digital archive/index for all your paper documents.

        When you feed Paperless-NG a document. it will perform OCR (Optical Character Recognition) over it, turning images into searchable and selectable text.

        This is just scraping the surface of what Paperless is capable of. You should definitely check out this software if you need a central place to aggregate your documents.

        The Raspberry Pi is an excellent device for Paperless-NG as it uses a low amount of power, making it cheap to run continually.

      • How to Restart Ubuntu using the Terminal – Pi My Life Up

        Knowing how to reboot Ubuntu is one of those simple but crucial to know tasks for managing your system.

        There are numerous reasons why you need to reboot Ubuntu. An example of a reason you would want to restart is if you changed the size of the system’s swap. Unfortunately, applications aren’t aware of changes to the swap till they are restarted.

        Another reason you may want to update the terminal is if you updated your Ubuntu kernel, it won’t be utilized until the system is rebooted.

        Over the following few sections, we will cover three commands you can use to restart your system.

      • How to kill a process on Ubuntu – Pi My Life Up

        If you have ever had a process on Ubuntu that wouldn’t close, no matter what you did, it is possible to force kill the process.

        By killing a process, it will be forced to close immediately, meaning if it were just saving, Ubuntu would terminate the process without waiting. This sudden termination could potentially lead to data loss or system instability.

        You should typically only kill a process on Ubuntu if it no longer responds to normal stop commands.

      • Linux HintPlaying Media in Linux Terminal (Including Youtube)

        This tutorial explains how to play media from the Linux terminal in Linux, including Youtube.

        In many scenarios, we may need to play media from the terminal. After reading this tutorial, you will know how to play local media and how to play and download Youtube media from the Linux console.

        Except for installation method examples, made on Debian, this content is valid for all Linux distributions.

      • How to Check the Version of Python – Pi My Life Up

        Python is a commonly used programming language that has received many updates over its lifetime, so you will likely need to check the version a system is running.

        It is important to know the Python version running on your machine as each version has changes that may impact whether the code will behave how you expect it. The most significant changes usually occur between major updates. For example, going from Python 2 to Python 3.

        The version number in Python is split into three numbers, 3.10.1. 3 represents a major update, 10 is a minor update, and 1 is a micro update. Each update will also have a “release level” such as alpha, beta, candidate, and final. Final is the version you are most likely to use.

      • Linux HintHow to Fix Connection Refused by Port 22 Debian/Ubuntu

        SSH provides a secure channel to access Linux servers. Sometimes we come across the error “Connection refused” while connecting to SSH servers. There could be several reasons behind the error like the SSH service is inactive, the port is blocked by ufw firewall, the server is using a different port, or because of some IP conflict.Today, we will explore different ways we can resolve the ‘Connection Refused’ issue on an Ubuntu/Debian system.

      • How to Generate and Use SSH Keys on Ubuntu – Pi My Life Up

        SSH Keys are a critical way to significantly enhance the security of your Ubuntu device’s SSH connection.

        These keys are the recommended way for securely connecting to a device, over as someone would have to steal the entire SSH key to gain access to your system.

        Every SSH key is a pair, where one key is used to verify the content signed by another key. The key used to encrypt the connection is called the private key. The key used to verify the contents of this connection is called the public key.

        Over the following few sections, we will show you how to generate an SSH key on Ubuntu and then use it to make a connection.

      • [Old] How to renew a (soon to be) expired GPG key

        Almost six months ago I published a quick guide teaching how to generate a GPG key and use it to sign your git commits. During the creation of the key, I recommended you set an expiration date. Today, my key has expired and I’m taking the opportunity to write this small guide on how to proceed if this happens to you.

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Carl SvenssonDirectory Opus – King of the Dual Panes

      It’s not exactly a secret that I’m a die hard Amiga zealot. I’ve previously sung the praise of AmigaOS itself, powerful applications like Amos Pro and Deluxe Paint and the programming tools supplied in a standard AmigaOS installation. This is just scratching the surface: the Amiga is blessed with a large library of excellent software. High quality programs like Lightwave 3D, PageStream, TV Paint, SAS/C and SCALA InfoChannel are some of its big name applications with a proven track record of professional use.

    • BSD

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosCuriosity Board features Microchip’s SAM9X60D1G SiP

        EV40E67A Curiosity Board
        The board offers flexible IOs interfaces including one mikroBUS socket, a 40-pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi, three USB ports and two CAN interfaces via header pins. The RJ45 port seen below supports Fast Ethernet (up to 100Mbps).

        The product page mentions that the board also offers secure capabilities such as a Hardware Encryption Engine (TDES, AES, and SHA), True Random Generator) TRNG, Secure Boot with on-chip Secure Key Storage, eight tamper detection pins, six tamper pins and On The Fly scrambling/unscrambling for memories.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • HacksterArtillect’s Brother AX-25 Typewriter Is Reborn as an Arduino and Raspberry Pi-Powered Linux Terminal – Hackster.io

        Pseudonymous YouTuber and electronics enthusiast “Artillect” has put together a typewriter with a difference, upgrading a vintage Brother AX-25 electronic typewriter into a fully-functional Linux machine.

        “After lots of work, I’ve finally finished turning my typewriter from the 80s into a computer,” Artillect explains of the project. “It’s a fully functional computer running Linux; you can use it to do basically anything that you’d do in a terminal.”

      • Andrew HutchingsAcorn Archimedes A3010: Restoration Part 2

        In my previous post I managed to get the Archimedes A3010 to a point where it could boot up. But there are still things to test and repair. The work continues…

        Now that it boots into the OS from ROM probably the most important thing is the ability to load more software into it. I hooked up the floppy drive, picked a magazine coverdisk out of the box of disks that came with the machine and…

      • Andrew HutchingsAcorn Archimedes A3010: Restoration Part 1

        The Acorn Archimedes is famous as the machine that introduced the world to the ARM processor. There were several different models but the A3010 was a wedge shaped design that was geared towards the home computer market. I had never owned an Archimedes before this and only briefly used the one in the corner of the BBC Micro room in high school. But I thought this was a piece of history worth preserving and I really wanted to try it out properly.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

      • MedevelDiaguard Is A Privacy-focused Open Source Diabetes Diary for Android

        Diabetes is a life-altering disease and its management is not easy. It required a life-changing routines and personal discipline.

        While there are countless diabetes management application, almost all of them comes with a cost, either they are paid, they do not respect users privacy, or they come populated with ads.

        That is not the case with our choice of the day: Diaguard, it is a free of cost, completely ad-free, tracker-free diabetes management application for Android phones and tablets.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • What’s New In Wireshark 4.0?

      Wireshark 4.0 was released today, and as you might have guessed from the version number, quite a few things have changed since 3.6. If you are a regular Wireshark user we recommend that you pay close attention to the release notes this time around, since it includes quite a few changes. I’ll cover some highlights here, but the release notes go into much greater detail.

    • MedevelNextcloud Can Rescue Your Mega Bookmarks Collection. It is Free and Open Source

      Nextcloud is a free self-hosted open source collaborative cloud platform, that helps you back up, and sync your files, notes, calendars and more. By default, it supports multiple user and user groups which makes it an ideal solution for families, gaming groups, companies to collaborate and share their files among members.

      Moreover, it has a vast rich ecosystem of extensions that extends its functionalities, which can transform it to anything. It is also supported by a strong community of users and developers, who keep it fresh and secure.

      But that is not all, Nextcloud can save your large bookmarking collection that you have in your web browser with its amazing bookmark extension.
      Nextcloud can be installed easily on a minimal droplet in DigitalOcean in less than a min, and it will cost you few bucks a month. It will keep your data secure, private, and aids you in keeping a remote backup.

    • Education

      • Austin Z HenleyWhy is it hard to learn another programming language?

        Learning my first programming language was really hard. Learning the second was also hard but probably easier. What about the third or fourth? The Nth? Does each one get easier? Does knowing other languages create new difficulties?

        I just read a paper, Here We Go Again: Why Is It Difficult for Developers to Learn Another Programming Language?, that tries to understand the barriers that developers face when picking up another language.

    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Open Access/Content

        • Walled CultureOpen access is taking over, but academic institutions are paying as much money as ever: what happened?

          Gold OA refers to titles that make all articles free to read on the publisher’s Web site upon publication, thanks to the payment of an APC. Diamond OA, discussed previously on Walled Culture, can be thought of as gold OA with a zero APC. Hybrid journals are another clever publisher trick: they include some articles paid for with APCs, but a subscription is required to access the other material. In effect, publishers get to double dip. That’s really not how open access was supposed to work out…

        • [Old] Walled CultureThe mighty Elsevier academic octopus adds another tentacle

          Last year, Walled Culture noted that the academic publisher Elsevier enjoys an astonishing profit margin of 30-40%. Those profits, built on the free labour of academics writing about research that has been largely paid for with public money, has allowed Elsevier to go on a spending spree, buying up companies that complement and extend its core business. SPARC – “a non-profit advocacy organization that supports systems for research and education that are open by default and equitable by design” – has a news item about Elsevier’s acquisition of Interfolio, a leading player in the field of Faculty Information Systems (FIS), which tracks a wide range of faculty data. Here’s why that is troubling: [...]

    • Programming/Development

      • uni TorontoYAML in practice can be looser than I expected

        Both the Prometheus and the Grafana Loki ecosystems are mostly configured with a large amount of YAML. Since we use both, this has resulted in me writing a fair amount of YAML. I’ve never tried to systematically learn YAML; like a lot of other things to do with configuration files, it’s something that I tended to pick up as I needed to know specific things. I sort of learned general ideas, copied examples, diagnosed and fixed complaints, and so on.

        A while back I decided to install yamllint (well, the Ubuntu version of it) and use it on our YAML files. I expected to find some minor things and small surprises. Instead, I received a litany of warnings, primarily about having too much indentation. This was especially surprising to me because I’d absorbed the story that YAML was extremely picky about whitespace; you had to use two spaces, no more and no less, and carefully line everything up where it was required. Except, apparently, not always, at least as Prometheus and other Go programs accepted YAML.

      • Vincent BernatFRnOG #36: Akvorado

        Here are the slides I presented for FRnOG #36 in September 2022. They are about Akvorado, a tool to collect network flows and visualize them. It was developped by Free. I didn’t get time to publish a blog post yet, but it should happen soon!

      • Refactoring Russian Doll Code

        Recently, I’ve been working with an environmental scientist to refactor a large R package. Let’s call her Jane.

        Jane inherited a mess of code, and had to get it working as quickly as possible. She tidied up it as best as she could in the time, but now that the company depended on it, it needed some attention. We referred to it as her “Russian Doll code” because it had many nested functions, each passing the same giant nested lists back and forth. I could see that it frustrated her every time she had to touch it as she knew there was a better way to structure the code.

      • Map any region in the world with R – Part I: The basic map | R with White Dwarf

        When you prepare for a job interview one of the questions they always tell you to prepare is “What are you most proud of?”. Personally I’ve never been asked that question in a job interview but it kept me thinking. Some years ago I developed the R code for the creation of maps of infrastructure for a Political Sciences project, and I can say that this is one of the projects I’m most proud of. However, it is also true what they say to developers, that nobody cares about how you did it. The final user only cared about what was done, while the research team about what are the possibilities. Due to the confidentiality agreement of the client, I also cannot share a git repository.

        The project taught me so much in terms of technical skills that I have decided to share the how in case it can help somebody else. It is also my way to contribute to the R community since I myself learned R and programming thanks to the kind people who post their experience on the web (and to the ones who have the patience to answer questions in StackOverflow too).

      • Perl / Raku

        • PerlMystery Buglet #2 | Buddy Burden [blogs.perl.org]

          Hey! I know, I know: long time, no blog. I would love to blame the pandemic, but the truth is, I just haven’t been inspired with any sufficiently Perl-y topics lately. Until recently, when I ran into this.

          Now, once upon a time, I wrote a post about a small buglet I had encountered. The post presented the problem, then asked you if you saw the problem, then explained what was going on. So let’s do that again.


          But, as it turns out, unlink is fine with getting an empty list (I tested it). So that wasn’t the problem. Still, the last two sentences of the previous paragraph, when combined, contain the answer to the mystery. If you haven’t spotted it by now, you may want to take a moment to reread them carefully and see if I you see it before proceeding further.

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • [Old] Moving files in ZSH – The wonderful world of zmv

          From time to time I find myself trying to move a batch of files that have a similar pattern in their names but doesn’t quite match an easy to write glob pattern. In the past, I used to write quick and dirty scripts — usually in shell script, nothing fancy — to make it easier to move these files around. A few months ago I discovered zmv, a zsh function that is much better than plain old mv to move files around. Since an example is worth a thousand blog posts, let’s jump right into it.

          I mean, almost. Before we start, make sure you have zmv loaded in your shell — it’s not loaded by default: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayMommy, Where Do Ideas Come From?

      We wrote up an astounding old use of technology – François Willème’s 3D scanning and modeling apparatus from 1861, over 150 years ago. What’s amazing about this technique is that it used absolutely cutting-edge technology for the time, photography, and the essence of a technique still used today in laser-line 3D scanners, or maybe even more closely related to the “bullet time” effect.

    • Lufthansa Bans AirTags: Will Other Airlines Follow?

      For those not familiar, Apple AirTags are an easy way to keep track of your stuff. You just attach them to an item, and then you can track the location of it through your Apple device. While this probably wasn’t the primary initial intent, these have become super popular for checked bags when traveling.

      While some airlines provide baggage tracking, it’s awesome to always know exactly where your checked bag is. It’s especially useful when your bag gets delayed or lost, given how uncommunicative airlines often are.

    • YLEPolice suspect thousands of Finnish firms may be victims of domain name fraud

      Companies were sold the rights to a domain name under contracts that were to last for up to 10 years, but the rights ran out after one year in most cases.

    • CBCYou’ve heard of quiet quitting. Here’s how to tell if you’re being quietly fired

      A phenomenon called “quiet firing” can have the opposite effect — when employers subtly compel staff members to leave their jobs to avoid the messy business of firing them.

    • Ash Furrowmastodon.technology Shutdown

      I have sad news that I have decided to shut down the mastodon.technology instance. In accordance with the Mastodon Server Covenant, the server will be shut down no earlier than December 1, 2022.


      Last week, with yet more Elon Musk and Twitter news, the fediverse generally experienced extra traffic with an influx of new users. I woke up to mastodon.technology downtime alerts. In the midst of supporting my family, I had to ssh into a server and fiddle with settings.

      I am exhausted.

      This made me realize how little joy I’ve been getting from being an admin. How I’ve come to resent the work I have volunteered to do. I’ve donated countless hours to running the instance, solving both technical and moderation problems, and I’ve always put the instance above my own needs. But I can’t put the instance above the needs of my family.

      The server has also gotten too large and too complex for me to administer. I’ve always been keen to learn the next new skill I need to be an effective admin. But I just don’t have it in me anymore. The monitoring that I have in place is insufficient to solve the current problems and I have zero bandwidth to invest in learning the skills to diagnose and fix the issue.

    • Andre Alves GarziaMusings On Serialised Storytelling

      There is no lack of different storytelling modes going around and it is quite easy to bundle different modes together. Game of Thrones TV series and Star Trek TNG TV series might both be categorised as TV series, but one is episodic with mostly self-contained independent stories, while the other is a single story with multiple plot lines (and diminishing returns IMO).

    • The EconomistThe gangs that kidnap Asians and force them to commit cyberfraud

      The 1,200 victims of similar scams known to the Global Anti-Scam Organisation, a support group, have collectively lost $250m. Twice that amount was lost by those who contacted CipherBlade, an investigation firm, last year. Total losses for 2021 may have been in the tens of billions, since the “vast majority” of victims do not report the crime, reckons CipherBlade. Using official estimates of scale and revenue figures reported by witness testimonies, the International Justice Mission (IJM), an NGO, calculates that syndicates in Cambodia take in at least $12bn a year from online scams.

    • HackadayA Rail Cart For The Space Conscious Passenger

      For those who live in countries where there are plenty of abandoned railways, a popular way to explore them has been by means of home made rail carts. These are usually rudimentary rail trolleys with a small internal combustion engine, and a host of fascinating videos of them can be found online. Such a trolley has one disadvantage though — it’s not the most compact of devices. [Cato] has come up with a rail cart that’s extremely portable by replacing the engine with the guts of a pair of hoverboards.

    • Hackaday[Tom Stanton] Builds An Osprey

      The V-22 Osprey is an aircraft like no other. The tiltrotor multirole military aircraft makes an impression wherever it goes; coincidentally, a flight of two of these beasts flew directly overhead yesterday and made a noise unlike anything we’ve ever heard before. It’s a complex aircraft that pushes the engineering envelope, so naturally [Tom Stanton] decided to build a flight-control accurate RC model of the Osprey for himself.

    • Counter PunchDavid Roth
    • Common DreamsOpinion | Beyond Good and Evil: On Wendell Berry’s Brave New Book

      Wendell Berry was warned. I was among the people who warned him. He recounts the collective advice in the pages of the new book that prompted it, The Need to Be Made Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice, about race relations, the Civil War, and a whole bunch of other things that Berry has been writing about for decades.

    • HackadayQuick Reload For Your Glue Sticks: The Glue Gun Six Shooter

      They say that the two essential items in any toolbox are WD-40 and duct tape: one thing to make stuff move and another thing to stop stuff from moving. Many hackers would argue that the third essential tool should be hot glue — it stops stuff from moving, but still allows you to move it later if you decide that’s better after all. It also works on loads of stuff ranging from macaroni to microcontrollers. And let’s be honest: who hasn’t done the “pew pew” thing with their glue gun?

    • HackadayMagnetic Gearbox Design Improvements Are Toothless But Still Cool

      Any project that contains something called a “flux modulator” instantly commands our attention. And while we’re pretty sure that [Retsetman] didn’t invent it after hitting his head on the toilet, this magnetic gearbox is still really cool.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Linux GizmosNew GigE cameras unveiled at Vision 2022

        Earlier this week, Lucid Vision Labs showcased diverse high speed cameras at Vision 2022. These Gigabit cameras offer bandwidth ranging from 2.5 to 25Gbps and some of them include Power-over-Ethernet support. 

      • HackadayI’ll See Your Seven-Segment Mechanical Display And Raise You To 16 Segments

        Mechanical multi-segment displays have become quite a thing lately, and we couldn’t be more pleased about it. The degree of mechanical ingenuity needed to make these things not only work but look good while doing it never ceases to amaze us, especially as the number of segments increases. So we submit this over-the-top 16-segment mechanical display (Nitter) for your approval.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Proprietary

    • Security

      • Linux HintFree XSS Tools

        This tutorial describes both command line and graphical free XSS (Cross-site scripting) scanning and exploitation tools.

        After reading this tutorial you will know how to install and get started with the most popular free tools to find and exploit Cross-site scripting security holes.

        Some of the tools included in this tutorial are already included in Kali Linux and other security-oriented Linux distributions. Yet this tutorial also explains the installation process for all of them.

      • Linux HintBluetooth Security Risks

        This tutorial explains about the Bluetooth security risks and the defensive measures to protect the data and privacy.
        After reading this tutorial, you’ll be aware of the dangers around your bluetooth devices and you will learn about bluetooth vulnerabilities and attack methods. Of course, the article focuses on the protective measures that you can take to secure your devices.

        This content is optimized for both regular bluetooth device users and users with knowledge on IT security, looking for deeper information on bluetooth security risks.

      • IT WireiTWire – Leading fruit, veg grower Costa Group leaks data after phishing attack

        The Costa Group, Australia’s leading grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables, has been hit by what it describes as “a malicious and sophisticated IT phishing attack” which could have resulted in passport, bank and superannuation details being leaked, as also tax file numbers.

        In a statement dated 6 October, the company said the attack had taken place on 21 August and it had commenced a review and recovery process with external security consultants from that date onwards.

        “As a result of this we have now established that access to data was confined to a single server at the Costa Corindi (NSW) site, which holds data for the berry category, and that only approximately 10% of the data on the Corindi file server was accessed,” the statement said.

        Costa was started by Francesco Costa, a wine producer from Salina, Italy, who migrated to Australia to raise funds for his vineyard, according to information on the company’s website. He worked in Melbourne, Colac and Geelong before returning to Italy in 1895. It operates in more than 30 rural and regional communities across Australia, with its business support centre located at Ravenhall in Victoria.

      • SlashdotCanonical Launches New Free Tier for Its Security-Focused ‘Ubuntu Pro’

        “Yes, you read that right, you get security patches not just for the operating system, but for all of Ubuntu’s open-source applications for a decade.”

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Hong Kong Free Press‘Watched the whole time’: China’s surveillance state grows under Xi Jinping

          But since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012, he has reined in the relatively freewheeling social currents of the turn of the century, using a combination of technology, law and ideology to squeeze dissent and preempt threats to his rule.

        • Digital Music NewsByteDance Reportedly Suffered $84.9 Billion Net Loss In 2021 Amid Meteoric TikTok Growth

          ByteDance is said to have detailed its performance specifics in an internal report that was provided to certain employees. The document – which execs reportedly distributed in August, around the time that they shelved IPO plans and offered to buy back shares – includes the TikTok owner’s revenue, expenses, and other pertinent operational data (excepting a breakdown by division) for the entirety of 2020 and 2021 as well as 2022’s opening quarter.

        • The Wall Street JournalTikTok Parent ByteDance Sees Losses Swell in Push for Growth

          TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd. saw its operating losses more than triple last year to above $7 billion as it spent heavily to continue its torrid growth, according to a financial report shared with employees that offers a rare look inside the private company’s closely guarded finances. TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd. saw its operating losses more than triple last year to above $7 billion as it spent heavily to continue its torrid growth, according to a financial report shared with employees that offers a rare look inside the private company’s closely guarded finances.

        • Digital Music NewsTikTok Remains Highest Grossing App With $914.4MM In Quarterly Revenue

          According to Sensor Tower, Douyin alone is responsible for around $433.5 million of that number, or around 47%. That means TikTok brings in the lion’s share of the revenue for ByteDance. Sensor Tower estimates that both TikTok and Douyin have brought in an estimated $6.3 billion in total revenue since it was introduced.

          That number continues its rise despite subscriptions and paid downloads on both the App Store and Google Play dropping by 4.8% yearly. App downloads for both are also down 1% this quarter, compared to last.

        • [Old] MetroEverything to know about Facemash, the site Zuckerberg created in college to rank ‘hot’ women

          Facemash operated exactly how it sounds: it “mashed” faces together to compare them against each other.

          Moira Weigel, a writer/editor and junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, discussed Facemash in a piece for The New Yorker published yesterday. The article states that the site used “I.D. photos of female undergraduates scraped [read: hacked] from the university’s online directories” and that it “presented users with pairs of women and asked them to rank who was ‘hotter.’” The homepage proclaimed: “Were we let in for our looks? No. Will we be judged on them? Yes.”

          By the end of Facemash’s launch day, at least 22,000 votes were cast on the site.

        • [Old] uni HarvardHot or Not? Website Briefly Judges Looks

          But by Sunday night, outrage from individuals and student groups led Zuckerberg, who said he never expected such widespread publicity, to shut down the site for good.

          By that time, Zuckerberg said, there had been 450 visitors to the site who had voted on their peers’ photos at least 22,000 times.

          “I don’t see how it can go back online. Issues about violating people’s privacy don’t seem to be surmountable. The primary concern is hurting people’s feelings,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m not willing to risk insulting anyone.”


          But according to computer rules and responsibilities printed in the handbook and the FAS Computer Services website, Zuckerberg’s website likely violates campus computer use policies.

        • The VergeMeta’s flagship metaverse app is too buggy and employees are barely using it, says exec in charge

          “Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds. You can’t do that without using it.”

          Meta’s VR social network Horizon Worlds — the company’s flagship “metaverse” app — is suffering from too many quality issues and even the team building it isn’t using it very much, according to internal memos obtained by The Verge.


          A key issue with Horizon’s development to date, according to Shah’s internal memos, is that the people building it inside Meta appear to not be using it that much. “For many of us, we don’t spend that much time in Horizon and our dogfooding dashboards show this pretty clearly,” he wrote to employees on September 15th. “Why is that? Why don’t we love the product we’ve built so much that we use it all the time? The simple truth is, if we don’t love it, how can we expect our users to love it?”

          In a follow-up memo dated September 30th, Shah said that employees still weren’t using Horizon enough, writing that a plan was being made to “hold managers accountable” for having their teams use Horizon at least once a week. “Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds. You can’t do that without using it. Get in there. Organize times to do it with your colleagues or friends, in both internal builds but also the public build so you can interact with our community.”

        • John GruberFacebook’s VR Platform ‘Horizon’ Sucks

          The answer is right in front of Shah’s face: Horizon obviously sucks. Early-development bugginess wouldn’t keep employees from wanting to use it if it were exciting and fun. If Horizon were promising, they wouldn’t have to mandate using it — they’d have to fight to keep employees from trying to get in on the beta.

          Using a turd of a product more isn’t going to make employees fall in love with it. You either love something — or someone — or you don’t. You can’t be forced to fall in love.

      • Confidentiality

        • IdiomdrottningWhy it’s OK that PGP sucks

          PGP’s only remaining purpose, then, aside from being a redundancy in case the other encryption gets wrecked, is to protect you from your own email provider. And that’s not nothing. This might sound tinfoil, but it’s a fact that Gmail has bots that read your email and uses that to target ads. And on the smaller more indie (and less traffic) operators, it’s even more likely that an op will get a chance to sneak a li’l peak.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • VarietyWilliam Shatner: My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’ (EXCLUSIVE)

          I learned later that I was not alone in this feeling. It is called the “Overview Effect” and is not uncommon among astronauts, including Yuri Gagarin, Michael Collins, Sally Ride, and many others. Essentially, when someone travels to space and views Earth from orbit, a sense of the planet’s fragility takes hold in an ineffable, instinctive manner. Author Frank White first coined the term in 1987: “There are no borders or boundaries on our planet except those that we create in our minds or through human behaviors. All the ideas and concepts that divide us when we are on the surface begin to fade from orbit and the moon. The result is a shift in worldview, and in identity.”

          It can change the way we look at the planet but also other things like countries, ethnicities, religions; it can prompt an instant reevaluation of our shared harmony and a shift in focus to all the wonderful things we have in common instead of what makes us different. It reinforced tenfold my own view on the power of our beautiful, mysterious collective human entanglement, and eventually, it returned a feeling of hope to my heart. In this insignificance we share, we have one gift that other species perhaps do not: we are aware—not only of our insignificance, but the grandeur around us that makes us insignificant. That allows us perhaps a chance to rededicate ourselves to our planet, to each other, to life and love all around us. If we seize that chance.

    • Finance

      • RTLAbolish tax havens once and for all

        There are many reasons for this, but one of them has to do with the untraceable money flows, orchestrated by expensive tax lawyers, making use of fiduciary corporate management businesses, offshore vehicles or empty shelf companies.

        It is because of well-known and non-transparent tax dodging islands like Grenada, the Seychelles, St. Kitts, Nevis and the British Virgin Islands. Or Delaware – it is whispered that Biden’s home-state houses 25% of all black money in the world.

        It is astonishing and disgusting that it is still possible for so many countries, amongst which until a few years ago also Luxembourg, to offer nasty loopholes for the ultra-rich to minimize their taxes or evade them altogether by stashing money in non-transparent countries.

      • TruthOutGOP Would Undermine 40 Million Student Debtors to Gain Midterm Leverage
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Greens / EFAFacial recognition in European cities – What you should know about biometric mass surveillance

        Our map shows that different technologies are being tested or implemented across Member states, often without most citizens even knowing about it. Our lives are being tracked without our consent, and our personal data, also those of children and youth, saved without our knowledge.

        What could this look like in real life?

        These seven cases below paint a daunting picture on the use of these technologies in cities across Europe. Let’s have a closer look.

      • [Old] The Greens / EFABiometric and behavioural mass surveillance in EU Member states

        Facial recognition technology has been the most discussed of the RBI technologies. However, there seems to be little understanding of the ways in which this technology might be applied and the potential impact of such a broad range of applications on the fundamental rights of European citizens.

        The development of RBI systems by authoritarian regimes which may subsequently be exported to and used within Europe is of concern. Not only as it pertains to the deployments of such technologies but also the lack of adequate insight into the privacy practices of the companies supplying the systems.

        Four main positions have emerged with regard to the deployments of RBI technologies and their potential impact on fundamental rights: [...]

      • NYOBNew US Executive Order unlikely to satisfy EU law

        More than six months after an “agreement in principle” between the EU and the US, US President Joe Biden has signed the long-awaited Executive Order that is meant to respect the European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) past judgments. This is meant to overcome limitations in EU-US data transfers. The CJEU required (1) that US surveillance is proportionate within the meaning of Article 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) and (2) that there is access to judicial redress, as required under Article 47 CFR. Biden’s new Executive Order seems to fail on both requirements. There is continuous “bulk surveillance” and a “court” that is not an actual court.

      • ABCForeign actors ‘likely’ to use ‘information manipulation’ tactics during 2022 election: Feds

        Foreign actors are “likely” to use “information manipulation” to try to influence the 2022 election, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and FBI warn in a new bulletin.


        CISA is the cyber arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

      • NPRHere’s what Elon Musk will likely do with Twitter if he buys it

        On Thursday, a judge gave Musk and Twitter until Oct. 28 to close their deal, end a bitter months-long legal fight and avoid a high-profile trial. While there’s no certainty Musk may not have another change of heart, if he does assume control of Twitter, what would that look like? He has given hints but also left plenty of questions unanswered.

      • VarietyInstagram Restricts Kanye West’s Account Following Backlash Over Alleged Antisemitic Post

        A Meta spokesperson confirmed the decision to Variety, sharing that temporary restrictions on posting, commenting and messaging are standard practice for accounts that regularly violate the social media platform’s policies. The company did not indicate which specific posts were the cause behind the restriction.

      • VarietyPrince Harry, Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley and More Sue Daily Mail Publisher Associated Newspapers

        Amongst the allegations, the group claim that Associated hired private investigators to bug their cars and homes, hired people to listen into their telephone conversations, paid police for inside information, impersonated staff at hospitals and clinics to obtain information and accessed bank accounts and financial transactions “through illicit means and manipulation.”

      • ScheerpostWalter Kirn and Matt Taibbi on “America This Week”

        On assassination, Armageddon, the first twenty minutes of a girlfriend’s call, the International WTF Summit, and the missing American peace movement.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Democrats—Broaden Your Campaign Messages and Strategies!

        With just over four weeks to Election Day, the Democratic Party still has time to realize its limitations, which have led to them losing winnable races, or barely squeaking by at the federal and state levels. Imagine the worst, most corrupt, lying, dictatorial GOP since its creation in 1854 having their most dangerous and extreme candidates win elections.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Here’s the Brutal Truth: Republicans Have Given Up on Democracy

        Seven out of ten Republicans—like seven of ten Democrats—believe that American democracy is in danger of collapse.

      • TruthOutStates Are in a Headlong Rush to Attack Voting Access — or Expand It
      • TruthOutDon’t Let Ron DeSantis Use Hurricane Ian to Cover Up His Right-Wing Agenda
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • BBCHong Kong detains first teenagers under national security law

        Beijing introduced the wide-ranging law – which made it easier to prosecute protesters – in the city in 2020.

        Many who defy the Chinese government have since been jailed, removing much of the political opposition.

      • duvaRTurkey slams ‘ugly expression’ about Erdoğan on Swedish TV, summons envoy

        Summoned to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, Swedish Ambassador Staffan Herrstrom was told that the “impertinent and ugly expression and images” about Erdoğan and Turkey were unacceptable, according to Anadolu.

      • RFAChina steps up social media censorship, ‘upgrades’ Great Firewall ahead of congress

        The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has stepped up its censorship of social media ahead of its five-yearly congress, with users complaining that it was no longer possible to “speak normally” using Douyin, Weibo and WeChat.

      • RiskyBizRisky Biz News: China blocks several protocols used to bypass the Great Firewall

        GFW Report, a project that tracks changes in China’s Great Firewall, said that protocols like trojan, Xray, V2Ray TLS+Websocket, VLESS, and gRPC have all stopped working on Monday.

        All are TLS-based protocols used for tunneling internet traffic via port 443 or any other custom port.

      • Reopening of cinema halls in Kashmir evokes mixed reactions

        There are also people who hold an orthodox view of cinema and label it as “un-Islamic”. A 40-something man in Shopian, who was detained under the Public Safety Act soon after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and spent a couple of years in a Lucknow jail, said he was ideologically opposed to the opening of wine-shops and cinema halls in Kashmir.

        The government seems aware of these underlying dynamics: hence, in Shopian and Pulwama, where two small auditoriums are being readied, the focus is on infotainment and skill development features.

      • Musician killed in Ankara for not knowing song

        Onur Şener, a musician working at an entertainment venue in the capital Ankara, has been killed by three people with whom he argued on the grounds that he didn’t know the song they requested.

      • The Times Of IsraelChinese censors ban the printing of Hasidic woman’s memoir for a US publisher

        “Unfortunately this book is not approved to print in China as content involves anti-Communist,” a 1010 Printing representative told Zaklikowski by email. “Now the only option is printing outside of China.”

        The rejection offers a rare window into the collision of Western book production, Chinese limits on free speech, and geopolitics. All content printed or published in any medium in China has to secure the approval of the Chinese Community Party-controlled government, even if, as in this case, the book is in English and destined for distribution abroad. Russia’s war on Ukraine, with China acting as one of Russia’s only major supporters in the world, appears to have had cascading effects on a book intended for American Jewish readers.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • EDRINew EU Regulation pushes for journalism and media protection online

        This regulation will intervene in the internal media market looking forward to improving the quality of media services and strengthening the integrity of the media market as a whole. EDRi finds particularly important the provisions regarding the prohibition of spyware against journalists and the rules bringing “more protection for media against unjustified online content removal”. This could increase the legal standards against surveillance of journalists and harmonise rules when it comes to online disinformation. In light of this, this new regulation should be read as a complementing legal framework that includes the Digital Services Act (DSA), the Digital Markets Act and soft law instruments such as the Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists (2021).

      • The DissenterLIVE: Hands Off Assange Rally
      • Common Dreams‘End the War on Journalism and Free Assange’: Thousands Demand Release of WikiLeaks Founder

        “If they can silence Assange, they can silence anyone.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • VOA NewsUS Sanctions Iranian Officials Over Crackdown on Protesters

        Undersecretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson said, “The rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly are vital to guaranteeing individual liberty and dignity. The United States condemns the Iranian government’s internet shutdown and continued violent suppression of peaceful protest and will not hesitate to target those who direct and support such actions.”

        The sanctions freeze any assets the seven Iranians might hold in the U.S. and blocks them from making any financial transactions, while prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

      • Michael GeistWhen Government Investigates Its Critics: Why the Bill C-11 Witness Intimidation Issue is About Far More than a Strategically Timed Leak

        The concerns over witness intimidation and bullying targeting Bill C-11’s critics continues to attract attention on Parliament Hill as Senators spent more than an hour debating the issue earlier this week. The issue stems from a Globe and Mail report that Canadian Heritage Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bittle – together with his colleague, Liberal MP Lisa Hepfner – sent a letter to the Lobbying Commissioner to seek an investigation into the funding of Digital First Canada, a group representing digital first creators. DFC’s Executive Director, Scott Benzie, appeared before the Heritage committee in the spring and Bittle used his time to focus on the organization’s funding. The Lobbyist Commissioner letter was apparently filed more than two months ago and Benzie had been assured that he was compliant with the law. The story was presumably leaked to coincide with Benzie’s appearance before the Senate committee, a tactic that smacked of witness intimidation and bullying with the government seeking to undermine a critic of the legislation. Soon after, Conservative MP John Nater filed a point of privilege in the House of Commons, arguing that Bittle had attempted to intimidate a Senate witness and the matter escalated further at the Senate committee, where multiple Senators raised the issue.

        On Tuesday, the Speaker of the House of Commons dismissed Nater’s point of privilege, finding “this question of privilege stems from the deliberations of a Senate committee. My role as Speaker is limited to only protecting the rights and privileges of the House of Commons and its members.” He added that “it is not immediately apparent that the conduct in question was intended as an attempt to intimidate the witness or an act of reprisal for his appearances before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.”

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright For The Digital Age

          aced with that challenge, the copyright world has lobbied for and obtained ever-harsher copyright laws aimed at discouraging people from making unauthorized copies of digital material. The fact that the industry has come back many times for yet more serious deterrents proves that no matter how stringent, the laws against digital sharing simply do not work.

          The way to address this problem – and the consequence could be huge if companies ignore the risk of being sued for the illegal actions of their employees – is to make copyright fit for the digital age. At the very least, that would entail recognizing that everyone, everywhere, is sharing digital material without permission, and adjusting the law accordingly. Ideally, it would involve a complete re-imagining of copyright – perhaps even its abolition.

        • Torrent FreakPrimeStreams Pirate IPTV Lawsuit Sucks in KTV Streams & Firestick Steve

          Cease-and-desist notices are an occupational hazard for anyone involved in the unlicensed streaming scene. Some choose to get out while they can to avoid a full-blown lawsuit, but others only see a potentially lucrative gap in the market. Rolling the dice can pay off but it can also go terribly wrong, as a PrimeStreams reseller has just discovered.

        • Michael GeistCanadian Copyright Digital Lock Rules Finally Open to Reform?: Right to Repair and Interoperability Exceptions Advancing in House of Commons

          Canadian anti-circumvention laws (also known as digital lock rules) are among the strictest in the world, creating unnecessary barriers to innovation and consumer rights. The rules are required under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet Treaties, but those treaties leave considerable flexibility in how they should be implemented. This is reflected in the countless examples around the world of countries adopting flexible anti-circumvention rules that seek to maintain the copyright balance. Canada was pressured into following the restrictive U.S. approach in 2012, establishing a framework is not only more restrictive than required under the WIPO treaties, but even more restrictive than the U.S. system.

          One of the biggest differences between Canada and the U.S. is that the U.S. conducts a review every three years to determine whether new exceptions to a general prohibition on circumventing a digital locks are needed. This has led to the adoption of several exceptions to TPMs for innovative activities such as automotive security research, repairs and maintenance, archiving and preserving video games, and for remixing from DVDs and Blu-Ray sources. Canada has no such system as the government instead provided assurances that it could address new exceptions through a regulation-making power. In the decade since the law has been in effect, successive Canadian governments have never done so. This is particularly problematic where the rules restrict basic property rights by limiting the ability to repair products or ensure full interoperability between systems.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 2022-10-09 – small moments of clarity in the Western Lands.

        On Friday arvo I hopped on a bus and then another bus in order to visit an old friend’s photography exhibition.

        This one was out in the Western Lands of Deer Park, which hold a level of interest for me given that we’d pass through it on the way to Bacchus Marsh airfield on many a Saturday morning, long before the ring roads and bypasses made for a shorter, less interesting journey. Much as this friend has often done over the years, I had one of those moments on the bus where I saw a great photo opportunity out the window, and madly wrote down a reminder to come back and take it on film at a later date, when the sun’s in the right place. In this particular case, it’s another small moment of emptiness encapsulated in a wall – where the blank realm leaked out in to the everyday. I’ll get back there this week, for sure – these moments haven’t happened often lately, to the point that I wonder if either I’ve lost the “feeling”, or that I just need to give up and accept that my phone’s the only camera I’ll ever really use in future. I appreciate how different cameras help you take different kinds of photos, and I hope I can maintain some level of participation in the world of film photography.

      • Getting colder in the mountains

        In the city, every day is effectively the same year-round: We do the same things, but dark and cold. Work and school start at the same time. There’s no real prep, flip the thermostat from ‘cool’ to ‘heat’. Instead of resting, we push harder to keep up the same summertime productivity.

        It’s still ~5-15C outside, but pretty soon there will be more than a meter of snow on the ground and it will be tough to do much of anything until April. The mountain noises are chainsaws and log splitters. At the hardware store, people are buying last-minute things to winterize before leaving until next spring. My neighbor up the road built a new shed. The animals are trying to pack on a few more pounds.

      • Going Electric

        I’m a gearhead. I grew up in and around cars, my grandparents and parents had a Citroën dealership. Before I studied Computational Linguistics, I did a three-year apprenticeship for automobile technician, and I still consider it one of the best times of my life.

        Once in my life, I wanted to buy a new car, and in my late thirties I made that dream come true and bought the last big Citroën with their famed hydropneumatic suspension, a C6 sedan. One of only 3,000 made. I’ve had it for eleven years now, it still looks as beautiful as when it drove out of the showroom, only these days it’s not only sleek, but downright petite in comparison with the SUV craze on our streets. As it was basically already a classic when it rolled off the factory line, I’ve treated it accordingly. I don’t like to take it out when streets are salted, and I basically only use it for long-distance travel. Getting an electric car doesn’t make sense for me at this time. My car parks for months at a time, and then I do 600 kilometers on a weekend.

    • Politics

      • My Ethics Are Driving Me Insane

        My whole life I’ve been trying to Do The Right Thing. Increasingly, I am unable to determine what The Right Thing is.

        I shop at the Unpackaged Store. Stuff that comes without packaging is weirdly twice as expensive as the packaged alternatives. Local, seasonal vegetables, they cost an arm and a leg compared to the apple from New Zealand. It’s probably the correct price if I want everyone to be paid fairly and not externalize costs, but boy, I can only afford this because I have a good job. When I haul my expensive groceries home on my cargo ebike, along a narro, bumpy bicycle lane that surely leads to broken eggs unless I packaged them really well in the material I brought along, car traffic flows by on a smooth road — when it flows, as the road is too narrow for all the parked SUVs and the ones being driven by angry people doing a quick shop at Lidl, yes I’ll have a bag, thank you.

    • Technical

      • The Tinkerer

        When I started using computers professionally, I got fed up with Windows 95 very quickly. I switched to Linux. Endless tinkering ensued, which ended up as a career starter. I became a sysadmin.

      • Programming

        • cst

          This is a small, inflexible li’l Unix filter that reads a single sexp from stdin and prints out Graphviz’ Dot language.

          It features different fonts for strings vs symbols (which you can change with -l and -g respectively).

          When a list starts with another list, a dot-node is inserted to branch things off.

        • What is a “unit test?”

          Despite the emphasis on testing at The Enterprise, no one there was able to answer the simple question I would often ask, “what is a unit test?”

          On thinking about it since I left [1], I don’t think there’s an answer to that question. I’m thinking it really depends upon the language being used, and it’s a similar concept to Design Patterns [2], a collection of patterns seen in Smalltalk development and later forced onto other languages, applicability be damned.

          Since most of the coding I do is in C, a “unit” would most likely be a function, or maybe a collection of functions known colloquially as “a library.” The various components I worked on, like “Project: Lumbergh [3]” or “Project: Sippy-Cup [4]” aren’t libraries, and most functions in those projects are single use that exist just for organizational sake, so of course the “unit” ended up being the entire program.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 08, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:46 am by Needs Sunlight

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